VANDALS tore up trees just HOURS after they had been planted in a St Ives park.

St Ives Town Council planted 12 young trees at Warner’s Park on Tuesday last week, but three were uprooted overnight.

Several residents contacted the council and the trees were quickly replanted, but it is not yet known if their roots have been damaged beyond repair.

Town clerk Alison Melnyczuk said the planting had completed the first year of the council’s maintenance programme for Warner’s Park, and had cost of £900.

“We are grateful to the many members of the public who immediately reported the damage, enabling us to act quickly,” she said.

“It’s going to be a while before we know whether they have been replanted successfully.”

The matter was also reported to Cambridgeshire police.

The saplings have been planted to replace some of the more mature trees due to be removed.

The new trees are more suitable for a park setting because they are less likely to shed branches, making the park safer for users, and complete the first phase of the council’s five-year plan. The programme will result in an increase in the number of trees in the park.

Councillor Martin Collier, the Mayor of St Ives, condemned the vandalism, saying: “It’s pretty appalling. The town council is very keen to maintain and enhance Warner’s Park, and we have a programme of tree planting and works over a long timescale.

“It’s hugely frustrating.”

Mrs Melnyczuk said: “The council is striving to keep Warner’s Park as a beautiful, sustainable green oasis in the centre of town, and such mindless vandalism just spoils it for everyone.”

She said: “I suppose all we are saying is give trees a chance.”