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Outcry after vandals saw tree down in popular park

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RESIDENTS living close to Poole’s Whitecliff say they’re disgusted after one of the park’s silver birch trees appears to have been deliberately sawed down.

Borough of Poole (BOP) says it is aware of the attack, and while officers confirmed the tree is not subject of legal Tree Protection Order status, they assured residents the criminal offence was being taken seriously.

The incident has also been reported to Dorset Police.

Sandbanks Road resident Babs Plumbridge told the Daily Echo: “My neighbours and myself are appalled at the destruction of this beautiful tree, but no one appears to be interested.

“It was a beautiful silver birch. It has quite obviously been sawn, there are lots of saw marks.

“I would like to see the council adopt a new policy that for every tree that is vandalised in such a way, the council plants five trees in the same place.

“Maybe then that would deter anyone from thinking they can get away with destroying trees.

“As far as I am concerned there is absolutely no doubt that a saw has been used in this case.

“So my call is really to the council to act to stop future attacks like this.”

Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “ It is not for me to comment on why someone has done this.

“But people sometimes get very precious about their views across the harbour don’t they?”

Borough of Poole (BOP) systems and improvement manager Michael Webber explained: “We take any illegal damage to trees in Poole very seriously.

“The recent felling of a Birch tree in Whitecliff is a criminal offence and we’ve reported the matter to the police.

“We would urge local residents to contact the police if they know anything about this incident.”

Mr Webber went onto explained that the tree will be removed in the coming weeks and replaced with a substitute tree during the planting season.

He said: “We are considering surrounding the new tree with some kind of fencing or barrier to protect it from vandalism.

“We are also looking to see whether this area may be enhanced with additional tree plantings later in the year.”