A TREE has been vandalised only two days after it was planted in Whitehaven.
Copeland Council planted the malus – a ornamental apple tree – in the Sandhills Court car park, off Queen Street in the town centre, and will now be forced to re-plant the tree following the damage. A protective belt was deliberately cut and the trunk uprooted and snapped.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “It’s incredibly disappointing that this has happened. Why anyone would feel the need to damage a tree that has been planted for the public’s enjoyment is completely beyond me.
“It was originally planted – and now has to be re-planted – at the taxpayer’s expense.”
Copeland Council has recently launched its Pride of Place campaign, to highlight everything that is positive in the borough and to shine a light on those whose behaviour detracts from the area, including vandalism, fly-tipping, dog fouling and littering.
Mr Starkie added: “This is precisely the type of behaviour we are trying to eradicate through the campaign, and the response has been fantastic with organisations the breadth of the borough offering to play their part.
“The truth is that the vast majority of us love and respect this beautiful area, and many go out of their way to clean and maintain it.
“And we’re determined that we won’t let the minority who damage our property and dump their waste drag Copeland down.”
The Pride of Place campaign is an extension of Copeland’s business regeneration scheme that was launched by Mr Starkie last summer. For more information, and to join the campaign, visit www.copeland.gov.uk.