Wigan nature lovers are outraged after finding recently planted tree saplings uprooted and snapped in half.
A dog walker was making her way through Alexandra Park in Newtown when she noticed that the apple and pear trees planted just last year had been vandalised.
Helen Cater, who made the discovery, was able to re-root several of the trees with her bare hands, thanks to the help of another member of the public.
“It’s an utter disgrace,” she said. “The trees had been snapped in half and uprooted. They’ve only been in about three or four months at the most.
“Wigan Council have put them in. That piece of land was an utter disgrace and overgrown with weeds which is why they weeded it and planted trees.
There were at least five or six trees in a row when they were first planted but now lots of them have gone.”
Helen put the work down to “mindless” youngsters after reportedly seeing gangs of children using drugs and drinking on the park over the past few months.
“It’s kids that do it,” she added. “They don’t care either. If you approach them you get verbally abused. There are constantly drugs and alcohol being taken onto the park, especially the skate park.”
Council staff confirmed they have been to the park and replanted several trees which had been uprooted. They also said that during their inspection, they found that one of the trees had been snapped in half.
Penny McGinty, assistant director for corporate contracts and assets, said: “It’s so disappointing to see vandalism to the recently planted trees in Alexandra Park, particularly when local residents and the Friends group work so hard to maintain and improve it for the benefit of the local community.
Further tree planting to enhance and develop Alexandra Park is planned for winter 2019 and will include replacements for any of the trees recently lost to vandalism.”