December 12 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Vandals have destroyed a rare tree planted by schoolchildren in an Ilford park.
The liquidambar tree was brought for South Park, South Park Road, with charity funding in February but on Thursday it was found broken in two.
South Park Users Group secretary Tony Hoad said vandals had broken into a protective cage around the tree, which was around 9ft high, and snapped the trunk before leaving it lying on the grass.
He added: “It’s very sad that we have local people who vandalise their own park.
“It was a big tree, it wasn’t a sapling, so it must have taken some force to break it.
“It’s a shame because the children planted it and it was just coming into flower.”
Volunteers and pupils from South Park Primary School, in Water Lane, planted the tree along with 29 others as part of the scheme by Trees for Cities.
The charity had organised planting schemes in parks across Redbridge “for future generations to enjoy”.
A charity spokesman said: “We are extremely upset about the vandalism of this beautiful Liquimambar, particularly as it was planted by the children of South Park Primary School, who were looking forward to seeing it grow and flourish.
“We will be replacing the tree in the autumn and ask the local community to keep their eye on it so that it can grow into a magnificent specimen.”
The Queen will be coming to Barkingside today with the Duchess of Cornwall.