Vandals destroy trees planted in Dane Park by the community

Snapped cherry trees Photo Carl Hudson

Yobs have vandalised young trees planted in Margate as part of a community project.

Seven of 10 cherry trees on Dane Park’s ‘north bank’  have been snapped.

The trees were planted during a community day in January headed up by Colourful Margate and The Isle of Thanet Trees and Woods Initiative with hundreds of volunteers taking part.

The day kicked off the scheme to plant some 1,200 trees destined for six Thanet sites  with a launch attended by BBC Gardeners World presenter Frances Tophill.

The damage was discovered this morning (July 28) and is thought to have happened overnight.

Stephanie Nson, from Colourful Margate, said she was ‘shocked,’ adding: “We are saddened that seven cherry trees have been snapped in Dane Park last night.

“These were planted by the people of Margate, including by students from a local school, on January 23 this year. Parks and trees are a vital component of our urban life. We must respect and protect them for the future. Let’s turn this negativity around by greening and planting (even) more trees in our neighbourhoods, gardens and green spaces and, most importantly, let’s plant together with our children.”

Community planting day Photo Carl Hudson

Peter Hasted, from ITTWI, said he will attempt the make the trees ‘good’ but even if they survive growth will be stunted.

He added: “I’m going to make good in hope they will resprout. they were setting their buds for next spring so they will be stunted if they do survive.

“I’m devastated for the community who worked really hard to plant them.”

Photo Carl Hudson

Ward councillor Gary Taylor said: “Dane Valley Community is appalled by what’s happened. It’s devastating after the hundreds of volunteers that help plant the trees early in the year.. This is criminal damage to which I hope will be investigated.”

Earlier this month vandals destroyed a tree that had been planted in the park by a resident in memory of her husband.

The vandalism is the latest in a string of antisocial incidents and crime reports related to Dane Park.

Earlier this month Cllr Taylor made a call for police and the Thanet Community Safety Partnership to take action after a catalogue of incidents.

In the past two months there have been assaults, fires, vandalism and issues with Traveller encampments at the Dane Road park.

The historic site has been used by the public since opening in 1896 and has been the focus of a community tree planting effort.

It also has the grounds of Thanet Colts youth football club which recently merged with Ramsgate FC youth.

Cllr Taylor brought the issue up at a Thanet council meeting on July 9 when he asked  for action due to “increasing criminal activity and anti social behaviour notably in Dane Park and parts of Dane Valley.”


  1. where is the proof of yobs doing this.
    It was very windy and my garden was blown over almost me so till you have proof please do not say it is yobs.

    Wind was very very strong and those branches could have been snapped in the wind.

  2. Absolutely disgusting wind could have caused this to happen alrough vandals could have done this trees were planted years ago on the parade in Margate they got broken some had been removed the remaining ones survive today gone are the days when an open park people can go to and enjoy the relaxation there the answer to day is to secure the surrounding perimeter with a short walk with very high railings around to connect to main gate by the old park keepers house that would make sense.

    • Brian, vandalism on this scale and of this type was far from unknown when I grew up in Margate in the 50s and 60s, unfortunately.
      Rose coloured glasses, perhaps?
      Still makes me very angry of course, just as it did then.

  3. The time has come for a security camera to be placed in every public area so that vandalism can be identified accurately, the culprits found and severely fined at least to the tune of the correct number of trees or whatever it is they have destroyed. Then, the offenders should be supervised whilst they dig deep enough and plant the new trees THEY have paid for. If it is vandals who are responsible they won’t like any of that.
    As for the wind theory. We have had far, far stronger winds since these trees were planted (Denis and Ciara) and they did not damage the trees so it is unlikely that the wind we had this week would have done so much damage.
    However, regardless of that, cameras would prove who or what is responsible.

    • CCTV in all of Thanets parks NOW. Every park in Thanet is subject to piss heads, feral kids, drug smokers and out of control chavs inhaling hippy crack. Thanets parks have been taken over by scum, especially in the evenings.

  4. Without a police prescence vandalism and other crimes will continue all over, not just in the parks. It is very rare to see a police officer during the daytime never mind in the evenings and late at night, unless driving past a scene without noticing anything happening. We need good old-fashioned policing that puts fear into those thinking of comitting a crime. Until that happens there will be no stopping it. There are a lot of miserable folk out there that are jealous of others making the place nice so out of spite will wreck what is being done. newly planted trees are the typical victims.

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