A GRIEVING mum who hit out after a memorial she created to her daughter was removed has divided her community.

Elise Thorpe spoke out this week after she said the tribute she left at a community 'fairy garden' to honour her daughter Freya was 'vandalised'.

The fairy garden in Upper Heyford, near Bicester, is owned by Dorchester Living but run by a local committee, and Freya used to enjoy playing there.

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Freya, who was four years old, died in a tragic accident when she was climbing a tree near her home in September and her bike helmet got caught in a branch.

As a mark of respect, a plaque saying ‘Freya’s Fairy Garden’ was put at the community space, and since then, children have left trinkets, notes and fairies and it began to be seen as a memorial for her.

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However this week Mrs Thorpe, 28, said she was ‘disgusted’ after several items she had left with her husband and their twins were removed from the site.

Mrs Thorpe said the person responsible was a committee member and was told the items were removed because she had not asked for permission from the committee.

She said: “When I placed the plaque, that was the first time I had been to the garden as it is quite traumatic.

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“Ever since, I received abusive comments from her and all of a sudden she sent me a message saying I need to remove the items.

“For me, it’s hard enough putting down items let alone removing them.”

One resident of Upper Heyford, who asked not to be named, said the committee had rules and regulations that they must follow including health and safety.

They said that the Thorpes’ items, including a glass jar, were a risk to health and safety and were removed by the committee, and that the fairy garden was becoming more like a ‘shrine’.

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They said: “Mrs Thorpe didn’t have permission from the committee, who own the leasehold for the land, to place anything within the garden.

“She also had placed a glass jar for feathers, which was dangerous in itself, considering the garden was meant for children of the community not a shrine for one.”

Ms Thorpe accepted this, but still said the removal of the plaque and fairies was not fair.

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“It’s such a disgrace. I think a plaque saying ‘hello from mum and dad’ is perfectly fine. I don’t think that’s different. I agree with anything made of glass, but anything else should have been left.”

She said she went to the committee member’s house with her mother and sister-in-law to ask what had happened to the missing items.

Mrs Thorpe said the woman handed her a bag with the items they had placed on the garden, but the tributes had been damaged.

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Others, however, have said her family intimidated the woman, who was said to be in her 70s, and that an altercation happened involving the police.

Mrs Thorpe said: “My mum went to the door as we didn’t want to ambush her. Yes, we were probably swearing, but when she handed the bag which had things inside that were so personal, emotions were heightened.”

Another Upper Heyford resident said: “She has no right to put things on the fairy garden. There are rules and she was asked to remove the items but she didn’t and so they got collected.

“None of us are here to victimise her, in fact we have all supported her family. I understand that she is grieving but things shouldn’t go that far out of hand.

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“The fairy garden wasn’t dedicated to Freya. Maybe there’s been confusion because of how she is feeling. She’s blinded by grief.”

Since the incident there have been disputes among residents about whether the fairy garden is a memorial because of the plaque that was first added.

A resident commented: “It may not have been the original intention for this space, but if the community have come to see it as a memorial to this poor little girl, then that’s what it is.”

Thames Valley Police press office said it could not find a record of the incident between the Thorpes and the woman in question, but ‘that’s not to say it definitely hasn’t been reported’.