Story: David Peck
Abbeyfield Road Street Champion
It was with a mixture of incredulity and dismay when walking down Abbeyfield Road a few weeks ago that I noticed at the lower end of the road, near Osgathorpe Road, two fairly young trees planted several years ago and a quite substantial mature tree had been simply cut down. It appears this senseless criminal damage took place during the night of Thursday January 26th.
As Abbeyfield Road Street Champion I contacted the police, Street Force and our local councillors. I also mailed all the residents of Abbeyfield Road from Scott Road downwards to seek their views on this incident and on the trees generally. All those responding were dismayed at what had happened and felt strongly that the culprits should, if possible, be identified and prosecuted. Also, that the trees should be replaced. There seems no doubt that the majority of Abbeyfield Road residents see the trees as an attractive distinguishing feature of the road which distinctly improves the street scene and helps to maintain property values.
The police have confirmed that if the perpetrators can be identified they will be charged with criminal damage. Street Force also say they will seek compensation to replace the trees.
Unfortunately, at the present time there is no tree replacement budget. I can only appeal to anyone with information about this incident to contact the police, Street Force or me. Surely someone must have seen or heard something!
All is not lost though. One resident has generously offered to contribute towards replacing one of the trees and we may be able to apply to the North East Community Assembly to help with funding; however, we have no guarantee that it will be forthcoming. The estimate just to replace the two younger trees is over £1000. The real cost however is to the many local residents and others who really appreciate and value the Abbeyfield Road trees and are so saddened to see them needlessly destroyed.