‘Mindless’ vandals decimate special bog garden at The Deep in Hull

The garden area at The Deep in Hull after vandals struck
-Credit: (Image: Hull Daily Mail/Phill Robinson)

Staff of The Deep in Hull arrived at the aquarium attraction today (Sunday, June 30) to discover a newly-planted bog garden wrecked by vandals.

Phill Robinson, senior aquarist at The Deep, was personally responsible for the work on the garden and said the decimation of the space was “mindless”. “Who knows why they have done it, they’ve had their five minutes of enjoyment, they’ve found it funny and that’s it. It probably won’t mean a thing to them today.”

Phill said he had sought funding to develop the garden space to bridge the gap between fragmented habitats in the area. The pre-existing patch, in part of The Deep’s car park, did nothing to help the heavily urbanised area’s biodiversity, so Phill sought to change that.


“We started about four months ago, taking out the bit of planted area that was nothing special or great for biodiversity. I planted the new plants just under a month ago.”

Phill said: “Although it wasn’t created for him, the garden was set to be a memorial for the late Honorary Alderman David Gemmell, our chairman.” It was Mr Gemmell’s foresight and leadership that first brought The Deep into being and, when he died earlier this year, the attraction paid tribute to his “enormous influence” and pledged to create a permanent commemoration to him.

The garden at The Deep before the vandalism with the logs forming the stumpery
The garden at The Deep before the vandalism with the logs forming the stumpery -Credit:Phill Robinson
The garden at The Deep in Hull, after the attack by vandals
The garden at The Deep in Hull, after the attack by vandals -Credit:Phill Robinson

One of the major impacts of the vandal attack has been the loss of logs that had been sought by Phill to help create a “stumpery” habitat for beetles and insects. He said: “The stumpery was filled with logs and ferns, I had to put a bit of effort into sourcing the logs and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust donated some – you can’t buy them, some were quite decomposed which was ideal for the insects.

“This group has just gone on there and flung the logs into the river. They are there, just sat in the mud, and who knows what insect life was in them. They were all valuable for various species of wildlife.”

Undeterred, Phill said he would be setting out to rebuild what had been lost, although the kind of logs required could be hard to locate. “I’m looking to replace them and just hoping the same thing doesn’t happen again.

“The logs need to be hardwood, deciduous trees. It’s generally the winter months when pollarding and cutting back of trees is done.”

The vandals are believed to have struck yesterday evening. The same night, a group of young people were spoken to by the duty manager and security guard after they were reportedly seen around The Deep’s skips.

Phill said: “I didn’t actually realise the extent of the damage until I compared the pictures of the stumpery from it being finished, and today, but we have lost a significant number of the logs from the garden.”

Anyone who can help with logs or other aspects of the damaged bog garden should please email Phill at phil.robinson@thedeep.co.uk