Queen's birthday trees hit by vandals in Hartlepool

(l-r) Deborah Jefferson from Hartlepool Councils Countryside Team and Jane Rollo, Chairman of the Friends of Ward Jackson Park, with the remains of one of the vandalised trees.
(l-r) Deborah Jefferson from Hartlepool Councils Countryside Team and Jane Rollo, Chairman of the Friends of Ward Jackson Park, with the remains of one of the vandalised trees.
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Two trees planted in a Hartleopool park by schoolchildren to mark the Queen's 90th birthday have been destroyed.

The pocket handkerchief trees, jointly worth around £500, were planted in Ward Jackson Park in April by members of West Park Primary School’s Eco-Team.

The heavy standard trees were snapped in separate incidents by vandals, one at the end of August and the other about a fortnight later.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is being urged to contact Cleveland Police on 101 and local residents are being asked to report suspicious activity in the park and the surrounding area.

The trees were part of a batch of five bought by the Friends of Ward Jackson Park group and planted by the schoolchildren to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Jane Rollo, chairman of the group, which works closely with Hartlepool Council to develop and maintain the park, said: “It takes us a long time to raise £500 and to lose these trees to such a mindless act of vandalism is really quite soul-destroying.

“Vandalism in the park is an on-going problem. We often find branches pulled off trees and dumped, sometimes in the pond.”

Deborah Jefferson from Hartlepool Council’s Countryside Team, added: “The children from West Park Primary School spent a whole day in the park planting the trees and it’s so frustrating that their hard work should be ruined in this way.

"We would urge anyone with information about either incident of vandalism to contact the police on 101.

“We would also appeal to residents living in the area to act as our eyes and ears and to report any incidents or suspicious behaviour to the police.”