Vandals destroy avenue of trees in Bury park
Vandals have destroyed a row of 15 trees in a popular Bury St Edmunds park.
The young alders were planted in Holywater Meadow, off Vinery Road, in the winter and local residents say two were snapped in two weeks.
The vandals returned a few weeks ago to break off two more, but on Monday morning heartbroken locals went to the park to find the remaining 11 beheaded at the top of their support stakes.
Cllr Jo Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member for leisure and culture in whose ward the park is, said: "This deplorable criminal damage has been reported to the police. The council owns and manages Holywater Meadow for the enjoyment of all.
"We are at a loss as to the reason anyone would gratuitously damage these trees. We have not made a decision at this time regarding replacements, which in any case would have to wait until the next winter planting season."
Martyn Taylor, chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Society, who lives near the park, said: "It's mindless vandalism – there's no other word for it.
"These trees had some growth on them so you're not talking of a child doing it, we're talking about 17- or 18-year-olds. Someone must have seen something.
"When these trees had grown we would have had a nice avenue of trees to walk along on a path that's a popular route to town."
Most of the homes overlooking the park are in Cllr Richard Rout's ward. He said: "Holywater Meadow is an area enjoyed by so many in our community and there is no excuse for this kind of behaviour.
"I understand that the cost of the damage runs to several hundred pounds and that these young trees cannot be replaced until the winter.
"Why anyone would want to damage a wonderful local space like this is beyond me."
Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom coordinator, said: "I want to say how upset we at Bury in Bloom are to hear about the trees. We've been trying to plant them round the town for the benefit of the wildlife and residents and to hear of mindless vandalism is very disappointing.
"We hope we'll be able to replace them and the same thing won't happen again. "
Anyone who has information about the damage should call 101 quoting SC-23072018-282.