'Mindless vandalism': Commemorative tree in Northampton park snapped in half over weekend

The commemorative American Red Oak tree was snapped in half over the weekend.
The commemorative American Red Oak tree was snapped in half over the weekend.

A commemorative tree in a Northampton park has been snapped in half in what locals have called an act of "senseless vandalism".

The three-year-old American Red Oak was found in pieces in Ladybridge Park over the weekend and appears to have been ripped down by somebody hanging off the trunk.

The tree was found in two pieces over the bank holiday.

The tree was found in two pieces over the bank holiday.

It was planted to mark the centenary anniversary of the Women's Institute in 2015 and was funded by the local Hunsbury Hill chapter. But now it has been pulled down.

It comes after a commemorative bench was installed around the tree only last week at the cost of over £300.

Liz Gibson, president of the Hunsbury Hill WI chapter, who found the broken sapling, said: "It's just mindless vandalism. I'm absolutely incensed.

"It took quite some fundraising to get everything for the tree so everyone could enjoy it. We were so looking forward to seeing it grow."

This photo of the tree was taken just a day before it was found snapped in half. The new commemorative bench had only just been installed.

This photo of the tree was taken just a day before it was found snapped in half. The new commemorative bench had only just been installed.

The WI is now asking anyone who might have seen what happened to the tree to get in touch.

Liz says she visited the tree on at noon on Sunday (May 6) to take a photo of the new bench.

But when she returned on Bank Holiday Monday at around 10am, the tree had been snapped.

Liz said: "The park was so busy for bank holiday. Someone must have seen something.

"I just can't understand why anyone would get any pleasure out of doing this whatsoever. It makes me wonder why we bothered."

If a new tree was planted, the WI would first have to hire a JCB to break the concrete base of the newly-installed bench.

Anyone who might have information on what happened to the tree can email the WI on emjayg@btinternet.com.