COMMUNITY leaders are calling for action after vandals felled eight large trees in a Wigan wood.
Residents living near Barton’s Wood in Winstanley were shocked to discover their favourite beauty spot had been destroyed by vandals who stripped bark from trees before chopping them down.
There are currently eight large trees felled and visitors to the site fear that the decimation of its natural surroundings could cause the wood to vanish.
Cornelius Reardon, 78, of Chiltern Drive, said: “Our back garden runs onto the woods, so we are disappointed that over a period of time, it has been decimated.
“Someone has been marking the trees by taking the bark off them and burning wood against each side causing them to topple over.
“These trees have been there for more than 100 years and now there are eight lying on the ground with their roots exposed.
“They have Tree Preservation Orders but they are still coming down, which is not right.
“In the past, youths have vandalised the trees but I cannot see this being the work of children.”
Those living nearby are particularly protective of the two-and-a-quarter acre woodland site.
Many launched a Save Our Wood campaign, with the late Councillor Rona Winkworth at the helm, in 2007, following news that the land, at the top of Tan House Drive, was up for sale.
It was bought by a mystery buyer but nothing has been heard since.
Mr Reardon, a father-of-five with five grandchildren, added: “If all these trees come down, there is nothing to stop the wood being built on.
“We don’t know who bought the land, but we suspect it is a housing developer who is waiting for the right time to legally build.”