VOLUNTEERS at Locke Park were shocked to discover that a tree – planted in memory of a former group member responsible for the park’s upkeep – had been vandalised over the weekend.

The cherry tree is a memorial for Keith Cherry and was planted by his wife, Anne, and other members of the Friends of Locke Park group.

However, volunteers discovered the snapped-in-half six-month sapling on Saturday.

“We couldn’t believe it,” said Malcolm Price, from the group.

“We have had issues with tree vandalism in the park before and we purposefully chose that spot by the play area so that it could be monitored to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

“Keith was a great friend and member of the group – at Christmas he would always dress up as Father Christmas for the kids, so having his memory tree near the play area felt right. It’s sad that it’s come to this.

“It’s strange but the park becomes a whole different place at night.

“We are speaking with PCSOs to try and get some patrols through the park because we want it to remain a place for everyone for as long as possible.”