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Deborah Meaden leads fight against allotment firm accused of wrecking wild spot

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DRAGONS’ Den star Deborah Meaden is leading the fight against a private allotment business accused of wrecking a wildlife habitat.

The TV entrepreneur says Roots, which creates paid-for gardening spaces on green belt land, had ruined the site by dumping tons of manure on it.

Deborah Meaden is leading the fight against a private allotment business

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Deborah Meaden is leading the fight against a private allotment businessCredit: PA

She backed the company’s goals but said Abbots Leigh, near Bristol, was the wrong site for 600, £50-a-month plots.

Deborah, who lives nearby in North Somerset, joined thousands of locals and ecologists protesting the giant garden site near the famous Avon gorge.

Others include wildlife expert Chris Packham and Green Party baroness Jenny Jones.

The company, whose venture capitalists investors include former Gordon Brown advisor and Goldman Sachs banker Gavyn Davies, claims it is a selfless eco-warrior group regenerating farming land and giving much needed gardening space to those living in inner cities.

In a war of words on social media, business guru Meaden told the firm: “That does not apply to already rich meadowland being bulldozed with alien soils being dumped on it.

“I love the concept of roots allotments but they need to choose their sites wisely…to actually add and regenerate.”

She added: “We can’t keep overriding our imperative to save Nature with bad decisions and bad business.

“If we keep destroying habitats little by little one day we will wake up and our life support systems will have broken down.”

Campaigners in the well-heeled village claim Roots has ignored their concerns, while exploiting a planning law loophole.

But the company insisted: “Rather than damaging wildlife, we want to grow in harmony with nature. Our aim is to be a force for good.”

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A proposed Roots site in Brighton was turned down by the council in July last year.

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