‘Senseless’ vandals destroy trees in Blaenavon Park

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The VANDALS have been branded ‘foolish and insane’ by a councilor after several trees were destroyed in a park in Blaenavon.

Six Japanese cherry blossom trees that were donated to the park, known locally as Flower Park, were uprooted and destroyed.

The trees were donated by various community groups including the Blaenavon Townswomen’s Guild to mark its 75th anniversary, the Town Community Museum and Morris’ of Usk Garden Centre.

Blaenavon Friends of the Green and Blaenavon Horticultural Society, in partnership with Torfaen Council, have worked on various planting programs and park improvements.

Torfaen councilor Janet Jones, who represents Blaenavon and is secretary of the horticultural society, said it was “devastating” to see the damage.

One of the trees destroyed by vandals in Blaenavon Park

“It’s just heartbreaking because people say we make an improvement and then you get a minority coming in and destroying everything,” she said.

“It’s absolutely insane and insane.”

The trees cost around £60 each, funded by grants to Friends of the Green and the Blaenavon Horticultural Society as well as donations from local organisations.

It is believed that they cannot be replaced by the same type of tree.

Stuart Evans of Blaenavon Friends of the Green said it was not the first time there had been incidents of vandalism in the park.

South Wales Argus: Stuart Evans and Janet Jones near one of the trees destroyed by vandals

Stuart Evans and Janet Jones near one of the trees destroyed by vandals

The City Council also recently announced that a statue of Blaenavon-born Lions winger Ken Jones – located elsewhere in the city – will be taken down and moved after it was damaged by vandals.

Mr Evans said security upgrades, such as the installation of CCTV cameras, should be considered.

“Part of the problem is that you can’t shut down the area,” he said.

“They used to close the doors, but due to budget constraints they won’t.”

Gwent Police Community Support Officer Craig Davis said he would be ‘looking to do some patrolling in the area’.

South Wales Argus: One of the trees destroyed by vandals in Blaenavon Park

One of the trees destroyed by vandals in Blaenavon Park

A spokeswoman for Torfaen Council said: “Council is aware of the vandalism of trees which is very disappointing, especially given all the work community members have undertaken to improve the park.

“Officers will work with partner organizations, local councilors and the community to review options for preventing crime and anti-social behavior in the park before replacing trees in the fall.”

A Gwent Police spokeswoman said they received a report on Sunday May 29 at around 1.20pm alleging criminal damage to Blaenavon Park.

“We will be patrolling the area and anyone with information is asked to contact us, either via 101 or by direct message on Facebook or Twitter,” she said.

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