Welwyn swastika graffiti removal price tag over £2,000

PUBLISHED: 15:58 24 February 2019

The offensive graffiti has been cleaned off the Pulhamite rocks at Danesbury Fernery, near Welwyn. Picture: supplied by John Roper

The offensive graffiti has been cleaned off the Pulhamite rocks at Danesbury Fernery, near Welwyn. Picture: supplied by John Roper

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.

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The offensive graffiti has been cleaned off the Pulhamite rocks at Danesbury Fernery, near Welwyn. Picture: supplied by John RoperThe offensive graffiti has been cleaned off the Pulhamite rocks at Danesbury Fernery, near Welwyn. Picture: supplied by John Roper

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.

Walkers were shocked to see the swastika graffiti scrawled at Danesbury Nature Reserve in Welwyn. Picture: Rowena LoveWalkers were shocked to see the swastika graffiti scrawled at Danesbury Nature Reserve in Welwyn. Picture: Rowena Love

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.

Walkers were shocked to see the swastika graffiti scrawled at Danesbury Nature Reserve in Welwyn. The image has been edited to obscure a name in case of a possible police investigation. Picture: Rowena LoveWalkers were shocked to see the swastika graffiti scrawled at Danesbury Nature Reserve in Welwyn. The image has been edited to obscure a name in case of a possible police investigation. Picture: Rowena Love

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

























































































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