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Community groups and businesses in Penrith are saddened that trees planted to help green the town centre are being vandalised. A Community Group with the support of grant funders, the Vitality of Penrith Group, and many local businesses has placed planters around the town to enhance its visual appeal for local people and visitors.
Since the greening scheme commenced in 2011, three trees have been damaged. The latest incident occurred last weekend in Little Dockray, when a Sorbus (Salmon Queen) tree in a planter outside Eden Mencap was badly damaged by vandals.
Peter Ward, who is co-ordinating the greening scheme said: “The local community and businesses have really supported improving the visual appeal of Penrith through planting trees and creating vibrant green spaces. I cannot comprehend the motives of this tiny minority, who are ruining the hard work of the local community.
“We hope to replace the tree but it will have to wait till later in the year when root balled trees again become available. Replacing the damaged trees is not cheap and the greening scheme is only possible thanks to commitment of community groups and the generosity of local businesses. I would encourage anyone who knows the individuals responsible for the vandalism to report them to the Police.”
Members of Eden Mencap Society help maintain the planters by regularly watering the plants and trees right outside their offices. Sally Taylor from Eden Mencap Society said: “Having the planters at Little Dockray has really added to the feel of the street, people are using the bench a lot more and our Members really enjoy caring for the trees and watering them. It is a real shame that they have been damaged as so much effort has gone into providing them for the town.”
Eden District Council’s Penrith Town Centre Champion, Councillor Malcolm Temple, said: It is sad to see mindless vandals trying to undermine the tireless work of Peter Ward, local residents and businesses. The greening of Penrith has achieved great results and is making the town a more attractive and bright place to be. I hope the vandals do not discourage this good work by the local community.”
A spokesperson for Cumbria Police said: “Cumbria Police are appealing for members of the public to assist in tracing the individuals responsible for this vandalism. Anyone who was in the area over the weekend between Friday 3 August and Sunday 5 August and may have seen anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact Cumbria Police on 101.”
For more information about the work of the Vitality of Penrith Group visit www.eden.gov.uk/vo
Picture shows left to right) Peter Ward, Eden District Councillor Malcolm Temple and members of Eden Mencap Society survey the vandalised Sorbus (Salmon Queen) tree at Little Dockray in Penrith, which was part of the town’s greening scheme supported by the local community and businesses.