By now the tragic news of the mindless felling at Sycamore Gap has circulated far and wide. Various media outlets have released regular updates on the ancient vandalism, and the attempts to replant a future sapling. However, closer to home, there has been a similar incident.
Sycamore Gap: Vandalism
Granted its not a historical landmark, but the destruction of a local street tree in Wednesbury, along Woden Road South, has been reported. The Cockspur Thorn, still a relatively young tree, was quite obviously, and purposely, chopped in half. The top half containing the fruitful canopy was left to fall and wither. Another tree of the same kind, further down the road, has been pushed over along with its supporting stake. It is not currently known if the second tree is a part of the same sabotage.
This incident took place roughly around the same time as the sycamore gap tree was publicised to have been secretly felled. One could surmise that the occurrences are related, and the defacement stated by the media has moved other vandals to do the same in their own community. We remain hopeful in the belief that residents of Wednesbury and wider populations can come together, to overcome these individual actions. Yet, this is not the first – nor the last – time street trees have been vandalised.
Street trees can help us
Our Street Tree Survey is still ongoing, but interim data has concluded that many of these trees die due to outside interference. Street trees are a vital cog in the urban clockwork, but receive little to no attention. They are even forcibly removed. Without the urban forest, heat islands will rise alongside pollution, and the landscape aesthetics will dwindle, biodiversity suffering with it.
The intent behind the felling of this street tree cannot be truly determined, only theorised. We hope that our dedicated urban forest volunteers, and the citizens of all neighbourhoods, can champion and protect our trees. For the good of the planet, and to honour our place on it.