MORE than 200 recently planted trees have been subject to damage by vandals.
The saplings, which had been planted on the Campion Hills in Leamington Spa as part of the Warwick District Council’s (WDC) ‘Trees for our Future’ project, were found to have had their protective guards and stakes removed, most of which had been stolen or broken.
Coun Alan Rhead, WDC spokesman for the environment, said: “This is incredibly disheartening to see and means the hard work and resources that have gone into improving the local area have been wasted.
“Tree establishment is a critical period in the creation and management of woodland, with newly planted trees particularly susceptible to damage from rabbits, deer and voles.
“Tree guards not only help protect the trees, but also assist with the uptake of water at the roots. Their removal means the trees are now less likely to survive.”
Coun Rhead added: “Following this incident, I would like to send out a plea to our whole community to support the good work our officers are doing and to encourage others to leave these newly planted trees, so that we can establish new woodland areas and wildlife habitats for the benefit of generations to come.”
‘Trees for our future’ is part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to help combat the impacts of climate change. Over 5,000 trees have been planted to date, with a target of planting 160,000 trees by 2030 – one for every resident in the district.