Vandals target old tree

Magnolia tree in Astley Park, Chorley.

Magnolia tree in Astley Park, Chorley.

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Vandals have attacked a spectacular 100-year-old tree in a popular Chorley park.

The stunning magnolia, which is currently in full bloom at Astley Park, had one of its large branches snapped off.

The tree even has a notice attached next to it revealing its age and warning it is fragile.

But it did not stop if from being attacked.

Park user Graham Chadwick, of Mimosa Close, Euxton, noticed the damage.

He said: “This beautiful tree is in full flower in Astley Park with a notice saying its 100 years old and fragile.

“But that was no matter to the vandals who broke off the branch .

“Six of us stood looking at the damage finding such mindlessness hard to believe.”

Astley Park is run by Chorley Council.

Coun Bev Murray, who is responsible for the parks at the council, said: “It’s terrible to see damage to the magnolia tree.

“It is a focal point of the Walled Garden and has stood for such a long time.

“Thousands of people enjoyed visiting Astley Park over the weekend and it’s a shame that someone has done this.”

She added: “If you do spot someone damaging the magnolia tree, or any other part of the park, then please report it to us on 01257 515151, or call the police on 101, so we can stop those who are spoiling it for the rest of us.”

Maurice Houghton, vice-chairman of the Friends of Astley Park group, said: “It’s absolutely appalling if somebody has broken it off

purposely.”

He suggested the notice explaining the tree’s age and its fragility could even have made it a target for someone.

“It could have become a target because of it and it’s so spectacular at the moment,” he said.

He added: “I’ll go and have a look at the planters in the courtyard and see if they’ve not suffered.”

Asked what he thought of the culprits, he said: “Well, it’s almost unmentionable. It’s terrible.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with people like that.”