Witney News - Vandals hit Witney's new wood

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Vandals hit Witney's new wood

On Tuesday 15 November vandals deliberately set about damaging the new Deer Park Wood in West Witney.

The vandals ripped tree stakes and protective sleeves from over 70 saplings and broke branches off established trees nearby, before using the timber to start a fire.

The Council-owned land is managed by the Witney Woodland Volunteers who with help from local children from nearby junior schools and scout groups planted over 400 saplings last winter.

Juliet Curry, Vice Chair of the volunteers said “We’ve worked really hard over the past year to create an environmental resource, benefitting wildlife and the local community alike, and it’s devastating to see all our efforts being undone by such wanton vandalism.

“We have had to replace the stakes and sleeves as the young trees were vulnerable to damage from the wind and local wildlife such as rabbits and deer. This additional cost has taken money from this year’s planting budget so we now can’t plant as many trees as planned and as a result some school trips have had to be cancelled.”

Thames Valley Police are now regularly inspecting the wood to make sure that no further vandalism occurs.
Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for the Environment said “It is a great shame that this community project has been targeted. This is mindless vandalism by a small minority and if anyone has any information about this incident, then I would urge them to contact the police so together we can stamp out this anti-social behaviour.”

Information can be reported by dialling the police’s new non-emergency number 101, quoting reference
JW 3945487-11.

Posted : 29/11/2011 12:02:56

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