Anger as vandals destroy newly planted saplings

Vandals have torn up a row of trees the night after they were planted.

Residents in Cherry Lane, Langley Green, were left furious when they woke up on Friday morning (April 11) to find the three rowan saplings snapped in half.

The trees represented the finishing touch to a residential improvement scheme carried out by Crawley Borough Council.

The scheme provided parking space as well as a barrier to stop people driving on to the grass verges.

A spokesman said the trees cost more than £1,000 to supply and plant and the vandalism “beggars belief”.

Traciy Kozel, who lives in Cherry Lane with her husband Phil, chatted to the workmen as they planted the trees on Thursday.

She contacted the Observer after realising all the hard work had been destroyed.

Describing the vandals as “morons”, Traciy said: “We’ve had the new parking done and the barriers put up to stop people parking on the grass and three workmen planted three rowan trees and during the night some moron has chopped them down.

“I woke up and I automatically peered through the curtains and I said ‘you’ve got to be joking’.

“Phil said ‘what?’ and I said ‘the trees have been knocked down’ and then I just burst into tears.

“This is just sheer vandalism against the hard work that’s gone on to make Cherry Lane a better place.

“My husband and I are heartbroken. It took the men all day to plant them.”

Another furious resident said: “This act of vandalism is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money and time – a complete waste of three very healthy trees.

“It was the perfect place to have trees. The trees have been left destroyed and look a complete eye sore.

“It’s utterly disgusting behaviour. It makes my blood boil.”

A spokesman for the council said the trees had cost £1,042 to supply and plant and that no decision had been made as to whether they would be replaced.

He added: “These three saplings were planted as the finishing touches to the residential improvement scheme.

“This sort of mindless vandalism beggars belief and has rightly angered local residents.

“Anyone who sees people committing vandalism should call the police.”