Community group ‘sickened’ as vandals target renovation project in Slough park

James Hockaday

James Hockaday

‘Dreams were shattered’ when about £2,000 worth of damage to trees and shrubs in Baylis Park was discovered last week.

The damaged magnolia trees and shrubs were part of a renovation project started earlier this year to improve the park.

The attempt to boost the park’s beauty is a joint effort of nearby residents, community group Slough North Action Project (SNAP) and Slough Borough Council.

Three magnolia trees had their supports broken and branches snapped off and dumped in the lido area of the park.

Some plants were even ripped from the ground and stolen.

Three shrubs were found by park officers elsewhere in the park and have since been replanted.

A council spokesman told the Express that the damaged plants included three evergreen magnolias, a bird cherry tree, a walnut tree, a crabapple tree and a rose bush.

Enraged residents took to community website Streetlife to voice their anger.

SNAP secretary Neena Baid said: “Our dreams were shattered when we woke up to the selfish acts of vandals who have destroyed this hard work.

“I felt sickened thinking about all of the hard work and money that has been invested in this project so that we can reclaim something many of us remember from childhood.

“My heart was touched even more when I met one of the regular gardeners who was almost in tears telling me that his ‘garden’ had been destroyed.

“I’m concerned for the mental wellbeing of people that choose to vandalise for pleasure.”

A council spokesman told the Express local residents had all been a part of the renovation project at the park and said everyone had been left feeling ‘gutted’ by the damage.

It added: “When we spoke to the park team they were absolutely adamant that they were going to replant them.”

“Although the summer is not ideal for replanting trees due to less rain, the council park team have said they are committed to ensuring the plants receive extra water to compensate.”

Replacement magnolias have been ordered and are expected to be planted within the next few weeks.

The incident was reported to Thames Valley Police on May 16. Call police on 101 with information.

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