Trees damaged in Ashington park attack

Work to restore an historic Ashington park to its former glory has suffered a set back after vandals damaged over £20,000 worth of trees.

Northumberland County Council successfully secured £2.29million National Lottery funding to rejuvenate Hirst Park, create a new play area and restore the greenhouses and buildings.

The grant, awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, is supported by contributions from the county council, as well as the town council and Ashington Leisure Partnership, bringing the total project value to £2.7m.

And while work is progressing well on the main improvement scheme, 40 trees have recently been attacked with a sharp tool, causing extensive damage to the bark which is likely to lead to their deaths.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “So much work has gone into this scheme over the past few years and we’re making excellent progress so it’s hugely disappointing for the whole community that a great project and such lovely new trees have been subject to this appalling act of vandalism.  

“The total value of these trees is in excess of £20,000 and this is a clear case of criminal damage. 

“It’s so sad that a project which has such strong community support has been set-back as a result of the mindless acts of a small minority, but we are determined that this project will be successfully completed and will provide an excellent facility for the whole community to enjoy for many years to come.”

Anyone who knows who is responsible can pass information to the police via 101 quoting incident number 441 of August 14th.
 
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