Mon, 03 Aug 2020
A councillor has said he's disappointed that newly-planted trees at a Thatcham play area were vandalised over the weekend.
The trees were part of the landscaping of the flood alleviation works in Dunstan Park. Thatcham Town Council owns the land and manages the park and is liaising with West Berkshire Council about replacements.
Fencing at the neighbouring Henley's Allotments has also been damaged, although it is unknown if the two are connected.
Town and district councillor Jeremy Cottam (Lib Dem, Thatcham North East) said: "There are some unhappy individuals who seem to get fun out of destroying nature. I think it's probably bravado, 'look how strong I am'... it's really disappointing that there's this type of behaviour. They used a considerable amount of force".
Last week the Newbury Weekly News reported on the "small army" cleaning up the town's Henwick Worthy playing fields following complaints of anti-social behaviour.
Mr Cottam said: "There's a lot of issues in the same vein as Henwick, another place where we want to put more trees, where there's a lot of unhappiness and pent up frustration in the change in their lives.
"I understand it, but I do deplore that they are targeting something that's vital for the community, not only in it's appearance, but also doing our part for the climate as well.
"They are damaging their own environment and ability to make a difference to climate change and I'm disappointed."
Mr Cottam said that the town council was surveying land that it owned with the intention of planting a thousand trees in response to it declaring a climate emergency.
He said he would ask for better protective measures to stop trees from being vandalised.
"Not only are they pretty to look at, but they are here to help against climate change and we need to look at this closely," he said.
"I will ask to see if we can find improved protection for the trees at an economic price.