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'Wanton destruction': FIVE HUNDRED newly planted trees targeted by vandal in Shrewsbury

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Around 500 newly planted trees have been killed in an act of 'wanton destruction' in the heart of Shrewsbury.

Workers from Shrewsbury Town Council spent hours planting the new hedgerow at Monkmoor River Ground in February.

They regularly checked the progress of the trees and all had taken well. But on returning to the site on Tuesday for a spot check, they found that someone had deliberately targeted the hedgerow using industrial strength weedkiller and killed off every single tree.

The council is now appealing for information to help catch the person who deliberately destroyed the hedgerow.

They would particularly like to speak to anyone who saw a man with a knapsack sprayer in the area a couple of weeks ago.

Back in February, staff from Shrewsbury Town Council’s Countryside Unit, along with a group of volunteers, removed the old metal and barb wire fence and planted a native hedgerow with oak, hawthorn, field maple and dog wood to give cover and food for wildlife.

Some of the damaged trees

The hedge had taken nicely and was in full leaf a couple of weeks ago.

Early on Tuesday morning, town council staff arrived at the site and were met with a scene of 'complete destruction' to the hedgerow.

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Weed killer has been used to spray almost the entire length of hedgerow, killing around 500 newly planted trees, including the taller ‘standards’ that had been grown in pots for several years.

Matt Wilcoxon, countryside and green space team leader at Shrewsbury Town Council, said: “After four days of work by a group of five keen volunteers, the hedge has been destroyed by a single act. It is devastating to see this wanton destruction.

“A male with a knapsack sprayer was seen on the site around two weeks ago, but his identity is unknown. If anyone in the area can help us identify this individual, please contact us.”

Some of the damaged trees

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Helen Ball, town clerk for Shrewsbury Town Council, added: “We would urge anyone with information about this damage to our hedgerow to get in touch with us.

"As nothing else in the vicinity has been affected, we believe that the area has been deliberately targeted and it is essential we find out who has maliciously sprayed this specific area of the Monkmoor River Ground.

“All reports to the town council will be treated in confidence, and we need the public’s help to identify the person who has committed this act of destruction.”

The town council can be contacted on 01743 281010 or e-mail enquiries@shrewsburytowncouncil.gov.uk

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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