More than 50 trees replaced at park after being snapped by vandals

More than 50 trees in a popular Leigh park have been replaced after being snapped in a mindless act of vandalism.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 3:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 4:10 pm

Wigan Council have been busy organising the replacements after officers received reports on Monday 1 March that scores of trees had been vandalised in Dootson’s Park, Leigh.

Information received by the council suggests the trees were snapped in half at over the course of the last weekend of February.

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Coun Anderson and staff replanting trees at Dootson's Park

An investigation into who is responsible continues and anyone with information is encouraged to come forward.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, ward member for Leigh South and cabinet member for Police, Crime and Civil Contingencies, said: “I was horrified when I first heard of the criminal damage, I couldn’t believe someone would go out of their way to carry out such a narrow minded selfish act.

“Seeing the damage was demoralising for everyone including local residents who were delighted to have them planted in the first place so I would like to thank officers for their quick response to ensure all the trees have been replaced.

“While we would like to think this yobbish behaviour will not be repeated I would call on locals to be our eyes and ears and report anything untoward.”

As part of a forward-thinking climate change strategy unveiled last year council bosses have pledged to embark on the borough’s biggest ever tree planting programme.

Tree planting is just one of the many steps being taken by Wigan Council in the fight against climate change after it decided to take urgent environmental action in 2019 by declaring a climate emergency.

Trees are a vital component in the environmental response. Not only do they absorb greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and release oxygen for us to breathe but they intercept and use rainwater to grow, which can help to lower the risk of flooding by reducing and slowing the amount of water entering our rivers and sewers.

In Greater Manchester alone, trees are responsible for removing 847 tonnes of pollutants each year while producing 122,450 tonnes of oxygen each year.

The numerous upsides to tree planting is why it’s so disheartening to see such mindless acts of vandalism.

Anyone with information in relation to the trees snapped in Dootson’s Park can ring 101 and cite CRN 613020321 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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