Alnwick vandals destroy trees planted for Queen's platinum jubilee

Vandals have destroyed trees planted to commemorate the Queen’s upcoming platinum jubilee.

Thursday, 24th March 2022, 10:00 am

Alnwick Cricket Club were dismayed to discover that hawthorn tree whips, support canes and spirals have been trampled by passers-by over the past few days.

Fencing along the edge of the cricket and adjoining rugby field has also been broken.

"It’s very disappointing,” said Gavin Turnbull, the club’s field officer.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Alnwick Cricket Club field officer, Gavin Turnbull, surveys the damage.

"We don’t know who is responsible. Some kids take a shortcut through the field to the school but there are others who use it too, even though it’s private land.”

He estimates some 20-30 trees in the corner of the site have been damaged in some way.

"Some are still in the ground but the supports and spirals have been pulled out,” he said.

Almost 400 trees were planted earlier this month following a grant from the Woodland Trust as part of the Queen's Green Canopy tree planting initiative created to mark the jubilee.

Gavin added: “It’s disheartening that volunteers who gave up their time to help with planting have had their work ruined, especially as it was to give generations to come the benefit of tree planting to celebrate the Queen's platinum jubilee.”

He estimates it will cost around £200 to repair the fencing.

"We can't afford to be spending money on things like this,” he added. “Our club runs on a shoestring.

"The price of timber has trebled since Covid started so I would think it will cost a couple of hundred quid to repair the fence. Someone has just ripped it loose so they can take that short cut.”

Northumberland County Council has been informed of the damage.

Club secretary Lynn Roxburgh said: "We’ve been getting more and more foot traffic trying to get through there since the school and all the new housing was built in that part of the town. Unfortunately you can tell that this damage was quite deliberate.

"It’s a real shame for people who did the planting. Many had put their names on the spirals so in years to come they would be able to identify which ones they had planted.”

To celebrate the Queen’s 70-year reign, events and initiatives are taking place across the country throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from June 2-5.