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West Bridgford
Saturday, 8 May 2021

Community ‘distraught’ after trees gifted by Japan vandalised at Iremongers Pond and Ruddington

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Cherry trees gifted by the Japanese Embassy have been damaged by vandals for a second time leaving the community distraught.

Fifty trees were acquired and planted by volunteers at Ruddington Lane Park and Iremongers Pond in February. Since then, eight trees have been deliberately broken last month and three more trees were snapped in half in Wilford last weekend.

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REHAB BEAUTY

A band of determined volunteers have been left angry and now hope the community can help try to catch the offenders.

Chair of the Iremongers Pond Association Bill Roughton has now offered a reward for any information to help.

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He said: “I haven’t wanted to face the pond since last weekend. It’s a real kick in the teeth for the community and everyone working hard for it.

“The trees were vandalised deliberately and are now beyond any repair or possibility of survival. Each tree being three years old, they would have required a substantial amount of effort to break the way they have been.

“This has stolen three years of growth, hours of hard work to plant them, and the priceless sentimental value of these gifts from the people of Japan.”

Pat Huxley, Chair of Wilford Community Group and Secretary of Iremongers Pond Association, said: “We were hugely fortunate to acquire the trees through and we thank the Japanese Embassy for being so generous.

“The trees were planted by volunteers and we were all so excited to see them blossom later in the season. Sadly, we won’t be given that opportunity.”

Community Group Committee Member and Iremonger Pond Association Volunteer Daniel Atherton said: “We now have 11 out of the 50 trees destroyed in total. It’s so incredibly frustrating and distressing and has left the whole community dumbfounded as to whether there is any point in even trying to do nice things for the area when this is the result.

“We will carry on, though, more determined than ever. We can’t let a few idiotic individuals spoil such a wonderful community and area in which to live.”

Local police officers are now appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious or have any information to come forward from the latest incident.

PCSO Martin Fisher is leading the investigation. He said: “The vandalism would have happened on Saturday evening (10 April 2021) at Iremongers Pond in Wilford Village. Only one of the trees was found near the scene, meaning the other two might well have been carried away by the offenders.

“It’s hugely disappointing to see such a wonderful gesture and brilliant work from a band of volunteers work destroyed so horribly.

“We are keen to help the community find out who did this. If you have any information that can help with our enquires please call 101 immediately.”

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