200-year-old tree in Sunderland's Barnes Park cut down after vandals start fire

A tree which has been growing in a Sunderland parkland for 200 years has been felled after vandals set light to it.

Sunday, 11th August 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 11th August 2019, 5:18 pm
The tree was cut down after the damage was discovered.

The horse chestnut, which had been growing in part of the woodland between the end of the lake and the bandstand in Barnes Park, has now gone from the much-loved landscape of Barnes Park.

Sunderland City Council’s parks team were “shocked” to discover the damage at its base, with the tree surgeons drafted in to remove it.

Cabinet member for environment and transport, Councillor Amy Wilson, said: “We believe the fire was set around the base of the stem of the 200-year-old horse chestnut tree over last weekend.

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Councillor Amy Wilson.

“It was noticed by one of our operatives when he was working in the park.

“Barnes Park is extremely busy at this time of the year, and this incident posed a serious risk to visitors.

“Further inspection showed extensive fire damage to the tree had left it in a dangerous condition, and the specialist arboricultural team were contacted to cordon off the area around the tree in order that they could fell it safely. This took three days to complete.

“It is terrible to think that this tree was deliberately destroyed by vandalism, and we would urge anyone who sees anti-social behaviour of any kind to report it to us online so we can take appropriate action.”

The remains of the damaged horse chestnut tree.

Anyone with information about the damage or any other incidents of antisocial behaviour to report it online by clicking here.

The large tree formed part of the woodland in Barnes Park.