Emma Collins was mortified when she was told her memorial was a ‘wasteland’ (Picture: EmmaCollins/BNPS)
A heartbroken mum was ordered by a housing association to remove a memorial garden she built for her teenage son who died in a quad biking accident.
Emma Collins put together the tribute on a small patch of land right outside her ground floor flat in memory of Daniel, who lost his life in 2010 on his 16th birthday.
However she received a phone call from Aster Group, which owns the block of flats in Portland, Dorset, telling her the memorial was obstructive and describing it as a ‘wasteland’.
Such was her dismay that a neighbour started a petition asking the organisation to let her keep the garden and rallied the support of over 290 people.
The 14×6 foot space is filled with flowers, gnomes, lights, and a picture of Daniel in the centre and has some of his ashes scattered there.
Emma, 48, felt ‘absolutely disgusted’ when a man Aster Group called her and said the ‘wasteland’ was a communal area and needed to be cleared.
She said: ‘I started working on the garden last August and only completed it this month. I’m out there clearing the weeds and tending to it every day.
Daniel was killed in a quad biking accident on his 16th birthday in 2010 (Picture: EmmaCollins/BNPS)
‘The ground had not been touched for 30 years and nobody else has any reason to go onto it.
‘It was an absolute state before I cleared it – we had to dig up all the tree roots and clear the broken glass and rubbish. They didn’t object to that.
‘Building the memorial garden in honour of Daniel was very comforting for me and I have scattered some of his ashes in it.
‘After Daniel died, my mental health was very bad and I didn’t go outside, but the garden gives me somewhere to sit and I can chat to people as they walk past. I get compliments on it all day, every day. It means everything to me.
‘I am completely overwhelmed with the support I have received and it has really made me want to fight to keep the garden. Some people have even offered to help me buy the land.’
A spokesman for Aster Group said: ‘We’re very sorry to have caused our customer distress by asking her to remove the memorial.
‘We understand that customers may want to add personal touches to communal areas, however, we do have a responsibility to make sure that they are kept clear so they’re safe and everyone in the building can enjoy the spaces.
‘We’ll be in touch with Miss Collins to talk further about how the area is used and help, where possible, to find an alternative solution.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.