Welwyn swastika graffiti removal price tag over £2,000
PUBLISHED: 15:58 24 February 2019
supplied by John Roper
Swastikas and homophobic messages have been cleaned away from a much-loved nature reserve by Welwyn Hatfield Council, at a cost of £1,935 plus VAT.
Organisers of the Friends of Danesbury Local Nature Reserve were relieved last week when a high-pressure steam powered cleaning kit washed off the offensive spray paint graffiti without damage to the Pulhamite ‘rocks’.
The graffiti, in black spray paint, appalled the community when it appeared in early February at Danesbury Fernery near Welwyn.
READ MORE: Welwyn walkers ‘appalled and saddened’ by swastika graffiti at nature reserve
Similar-styled graffiti has also appeared in Knebworth, which police have treated as linked to the Welwyn incidents.
One antisemitic message says: “Jews=no” along with other messages.
Police enquiries are ongoing.
In addition to the deeply offensive nature of the symbols and messages used, the Danesbury site is a much-loved beauty spot being restored carefully by volunteers.
The graffiti had been sprayed onto 160-year-old ‘rocks’ of Pulhamite, a type of artificial stonework, and the initial fears were that the restoration, which took place on February 12, would damage the surface.
But according to John Roper, chair of the Friends of Danesbury, the results exceeded his “wildest expectations”, he said on the group’s website.
A video, taken by volunteer Harry Ward, shows the steam powered cleaning action at work.
“I’m staggered by the strength of response by the community in Welwyn,” said John to the Welwyn Hatfield Times.
“The response that we’ve had from everybody has been humbling.
“It’s encouraged us.
“We know we’re doing the right thing, and we’re encouraged to continue creating a beautiful garden for the community to enjoy into the future.”
The Friends of Danesbury work in partnership with other volunteer groups as well as Welwyn Hatfield Council in their ongoing work to restore the nature reserve and the fernery.
The group holds regular work parties every third Thursday of the month.
To find out more, visit: www.danesburyfernery.org.uk