Outrage as 'thugs' strike again at vandal hotspot park
- Credit: Catton Park/Richard Potter
A community has been left devastated after vandals struck yet again at a public park and damaged several trees over over the festive period.
More than 20 trees at Catton Park have been attacked in recent days, with some ripped apart and others with their tops lopped off.
It follows a series of episodes of vandalism at the 70-acre beauty spot on the city's outskirts.
Other incidents have included noticeboards at the Grade II listed park being graffitied and an engraved bench damaged.
And just before Christmas, a handful of newly-planted trees were attacked and damaged.
Richard Potter, district councillor for Old Catton, said: "This is a shocking and revolting criminal act against newly planted trees that will affect locals and nature lovers alike.
"It's particularly upsetting for me as I was partly elected on the mandate of protecting our green spaces and I'm determined that Catton Park must remain a safe and accessible green space for all.
"This mindless vandalism blights the natural environment that so many of us love and enjoy."
The councillor has called for more education on the importance of trees and green spaces after he received many emails and calls from upset locals.
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He said: "It creates extra work for the hard working warden and staff, and the replanting could potentially divert funds away from other projects.
"These thugs need to be more respectful of our green spaces which do so much for us, including helping to look after people's mental health and well-being."
Mr Potter added: "It's not just dog walkers and families that are impacted by this, but wildlife including deer and birds which rely on trees such as these."
A statement posted on the Catton Park social media page said: "If anyone is seen around the park with loppers or hand saws and not wearing a Catton Park logo they should not be cutting anything in the park.
"This is very sad and frustrating for all those who look after the park."
Catton Park dates back to the 18th century and was designed by Georgian landscaper Humphry Repton.