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Michaelswood donations flood in following vandalism

The entrance to Michaelswood in Aith.

A CROWDFUNDING page set up to raise money for the owners of the Michaelswood memorial garden in Aith, which had its donations box raided and destroyed at the weekend, has raised more than £2,000 in just a few hours.

Tagon Stores owner Ryan Thomson set up the page with the permission of Michaelswood owners Ray and Betty Ferrie. It went live on Monday afternoon and by nighttime 134 supporters had pledged a total of £2,065.

He said: “I, along with everyone else who read about what had happened at Michaelswood over the weekend, felt saddened and angry this could happen in Shetland.

“So many folk wanted to help and contribute something to Mr and Mrs Ferrie. They said they wanted to set up a CCTV system, along with replenishing the stolen money and repairing the box, so, with their permission, I set up a crowdfunding page so folk who wanted to contribute something can.”

The page reached its £400 target in under an hour and it is still live for anyone who wishes to contribute.

Ryan added: “Only in Shetland are folk this generous and caring, it’s absolutely unbelievable.”

Michaelswood was set up in memory of Ray and Betty’s son Michael, who died of cancer in the 1990s, and has become a popular visitor attraction.

Hundreds of trees have been planted over the past decade and the woodlands also feataures a dinosaur trail, a pirate ship and a picnic area.

The vandalism took place overnight from Friday into Saturday and Ray said yesterday that he was “more saddened about it rather than angry” after discovering the box had been destroyed by “some mindless, despicable moron”.