A nursery is stepping in to donate new trees after seven saplings were destroyed by vandals in a popular Market Harborough park.
Coles Plant Centre in Thurnby is acting after the trees were broken in Little Bowden Recreation Ground on Northampton Road – as reported earlier this week by the Harborough Mail.
“They will provide about eight trees which we will collect next week and look to plant in the park,” said a Harborough council spokesman.
“This is a much-appreciated gesture and is a really positive bit of news following this mindless vandalism.”
Coles is replacing the trees after they were snapped in half and the culprits branded “mindless” by Cllr Peter James.
The offenders struck just two weeks after the trees were planted by Harborough council.
Cllr James, who represents Little Bowden on the council, said: “This is just mindless behaviour.
“I cannot begin to understand the mentality of the idiots who wrecked these trees.
“It simply defies belief why anyone would to wreak such damage.”
The furious Liberal Democrat councillor visited the park on Monday to see the damage for himself and talk to shocked local people.
“I’m told that a group of young people gathered there in the park at about midnight on Saturday.
“That’s when this vandalism was carried out,” said Cllr James.
“Residents who spoke to me are shocked – they’re just in despair.
“Little Bowden rec is a very popular park – families and dog-walkers love it.
“We try to improve the park and our environment by planting new trees.
“So these vandals come along and destroy them.
“This was systematic, too, because they ranged all over the park carrying out this damage.
“It was deliberate – there’s no doubt about that,” said Cllr James.
“I’ll also be talking to the police about this.
“And if anyone has any information they should call the police straight away.
“I’m calling for these trees to be replaced as soon as possible.
“We can’t give in to the mindless people who did this,” declared Cllr James.
Harborough council added: “The vandalism of these trees is very saddening.
“Our Covid marshalls do patrol the parks regularly but unfortunately they cannot be there 24/7.
“We are investigating and will be looking at CCTV coverage in the area and working with police, who will be doing house-to-house enquiries.
“We urge residents to contact police on 101 if they have information about this incident, or if they see vandalism taking place.”
A Leicestershire Police spokeswoman said they are launching an investigation as they hunt the vandals.
If you have any information about the incident you are being asked to call police on 101, quoting crime number 21*159275.