Reports that severe damage has been done to 3 trees at Singleton Lake came in last week (7/8/17). One damaged tree is near the picnic table and the other 2 almost directly opposite the picnic table on the other side of the lake. These 2 well-established oak trees were thought to have been at least 20 years old and were cut completely and left to fall into the lake where they have since remained.
The trees were marked to have some work done to them involving pruning and removing any smaller dead branches once nesting season was over but we can confirm Ashford Borough Council did not authorise for these trees to be felled as they have a strict policy not to fell healthy trees without good reason. We have had a report saying cutting was heard at around 8:15pm on Sunday 6th August at the lake.
This is being treated as an act of vandalism and has been reported to Ashford Borough Council and to the police. We are urging any witnesses who heard or saw anything including seeing anyone carrying tools capable of causing this damage to report it to Kent Police East Division Hotline on 01843 222289 or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, please quote the crime reference number ZY/37169/17. This is a deliberate offence and is a possible breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which stipulates tree work must be avoided at this time of year due to nesting birds and roosting bats. If it was to be discovered that there were nesting birds or bats in these trees then this makes the criminal liable to prosecution. A designated tree officer has been assigned to this case and any other reports of damaged trees etc. in the borough can be reported on the council’s website under the Trees and Hedges section.