Saplings fight for life after ‘disturbing’ felling

Trees cut in Mewsbrook Park Littlehampton. Clive and Sue Fennell and Tony Carter, right, beside the trees that were cut through. Photo by Derek Martin
Trees cut in Mewsbrook Park Littlehampton. Clive and Sue Fennell and Tony Carter, right, beside the trees that were cut through. Photo by Derek Martin

A concerned resident has condemned the ‘disturbing’ felling of saplings in Mewsbrook Park.

The three silver birch trees had been chopped off at the base of the stem and then put back in the ground to disguise the crime.

They were discovered on Wednesday, March 29 by members of the families who originally planted them 15 months ago near the park’s play area.

Clive Fennell, chairman of the Friends of Mewsbrook Park group, could not understand why someone would want to destroy the trees.

He said: “How would you feel if it was your children or brother and sister that had planted this and someone had come along and killed it?

“It is disturbing. They deliberately wanted to kill a tree.”

The 56-year-old said the trees had been planted by local families to encourage the community to invest in the park’s future.

He said the children had been really upset by the incident, and appealed for the vandals to hand themselves in.

He added: “What I’m really hoping is that people might actually think before they carry out these acts.”

According to Sussex Police, the trees were worth £300 in total.

After the felling was discovered, the park’s gardener re-fastened the stems as a last-ditch attempt to save the trees.

He cut v-shaped wedges into the bases and the stems, and slotted the pieces together before binding them.

Mr Fennell said they would have to wait and see if the operation was successful.

“We are hoping the tree will re-fix itself like your skin does if it is cut,” he said.

“It is a chance we have to take.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to contact police by emailing 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 1218 of 29/03.”

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