Posted on: Friday 11 February 2022
Around 15 fruit tree saplings which were planted as part of a new community orchard have been vandalised.
Roots were damaged and trunks deliberately snapped in the incident at Brookland Park, Pontnewydd, Cwmbran, on Thursday 3 February.
They were among 75 fruit trees planted by Torfaen Council to replace nine trees which will shortly be removed due to flood defence construction work starting on site.
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive member for the Environment, said: “It’s so saddening to hear that saplings have been deliberately damaged. This behaviour is quite frankly unacceptable.
“These trees have been planted to help nature re-establish once the other trees have been removed, and to make the area a place where the local community will want to visit in the future. It’s really disheartening that there are people out there who would do this.
“We will replace the trees but if this blatant vandalism continues then we might have to recognise our approach and not continue replacing damaged trees. This is the last thing we want to do. We want to create vibrant spaces for our community and not have them blighted by the disgusting behaviour of a few individuals who seem intent to make things worse for our residents.
“We are urging the public to be vigilant and report anyone causing damage to the trees.”
The flood defence work will see a 1.5m earth bund created along the boundary of Brookland Park and Cwmbran Drive to protect local residents and businesses from flooding when a nearby culvert becomes blocked or overwhelmed.
The culvert has led to at least three incidents of flooding on Cwmbran Drive over the past 20 years, and Natural Resources Wales flood plans show 270 properties in Northville, Maendy Primary School, Morrisons supermarket, the sixth form college site and industrial units as far as Llanfrechfa Way could be at risk without remedial work.
Construction of the bund is due to start on Monday 21 February and last for approximately 12 weeks, but may take longer as the works are weather dependant, due to the work in the brook.