Park cab­bage trees re­duced to stumps

The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE - KIRSTY LAWRENCE

A group of vol­un­teers are dev­as­tated af­ter find­ing 16 cab­bage trees planted as part of a beau­ti­fi­ca­tion process re­duced to stumps.

Some time dur­ing the night of July 2 the trees were chopped down at the Fox­ton River Loop Re­serve.

Dr Bob Hoskins, who leads the vol­un­teer team plant­ing, said the team was dev­as­tated.

The trees were part of the ex­ten­sive plant­ing and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram im­ple­mented by vol­un­teers from Fox­ton’s Save our River Trust.

‘‘The tops of the trees have all been taken away, there is no mess left at all,’’ Hoskins said.

‘‘To do this the of­fend­ers must have had a saw of some sort and a ute or trailer. ‘‘

He be­lieved the peo­ple wanted the heads for them­selves and in the process de­stroyed the work they did in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘What a dis­grace that now there are 16 stumps stick­ing up in­stead of our beau­ti­ful cab­bage trees.’’

The trust had strug­gled for many years to re­store a healthy flow to what once was a nat­u­ral loop of the Manawatu River, he said.

Part of their restora­tion work had fo­cused on beau­ti­fi­ca­tion with the cut­ting down of wil­lows, the cre­ation of wet­lands and vari- ous walk and cy­cle­ways, dredg­ing, plant­ing and main­te­nance.

Robin Hapi, the chair of the trust, said they thought their work was val­ued by peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘If they don’t [value the work] they should talk to us, not deci- mate the work we have done,’’ Hapi said. ‘‘We are hugely dis­ap­pointed.’’ A po­lice spokes­woman said they had not been in­formed of the in­ci­dent but en­cour­aged peo­ple to re­port to them any un­law­ful tak­ing.

The Fox­ton Save our River Trust mem­bers are dev­as­tated cab­bage trees planted to beau­tify the area have been re­duced to stumps.

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