‘Dogs are attacking Buckingham’s trees and play equipment’

Damage to play equipment at Bourton Park in Buckingham
Damage to play equipment at Bourton Park in Buckingham

A council has hit out at the ‘needless vandalism’ caused to trees and play equipment by dogs which are being trained to attack the items.

Buckingham Town Council says at least one tree is likely to die and some play equipment has had to be replaced as a result of the attacks in Bourton Park.

Damage to trees at Bourton Park in Buckingham

Damage to trees at Bourton Park in Buckingham

Five trees have had a substantial amount of bark stripped and have claw and teeth marks in them.

One tree has had the bark removed almost all the way round the tree and the town council say this will more than likely kill the tree which is about 20 years old.

The children’s zip-wire seat has also been removed and replaced as it had become unsafe due to it being used ‘as a giant dog toy.’

Councillor Ruth Newell, chair of the town council’s environment committee said: “Our trees are very important to the environment of our park.

“Please don’t allow dogs to damage our trees, we want our trees to thrive and provide enjoyment to users of the park for years to come.”

Lee Phillips, green spaces manager at the town council added: “About two weeks ago we noticed marks on the trees and the zip-wire.

“We’re not sure how long this has been happening for but it is the first time it has happened in Buckingham.

“The seat cost about £60 to replace but you can’t put a value on the trees.

“One will almost certainly die as a result of what happened and it may reduce the life of others.

“Putting in CCTV cameras is an option for us but it may be difficult to get the cameras in the places we need to and they may just go and do it somewhere else.

“If anyone has any information about this they should either report it to us or Thames Valley Police.”

There has been widespread condemnation of the damage in Bourton Park.

Many Facebook users took to the Buckingham: What Matters To You page to express their anger after town councillor Jon Harvey posted images of the damage.

Becky Tomes wrote: “I do not know what goes through these people’s minds...disgraceful” while Donna Wendy Jeffs said: “What a disgrace, pure act of vandalism, this dog or dogs has no future while its living with owners like this.”

Mr Harvey said: “The reaction has been universal - it is not good for the trees or the dogs.

“It is not good that this happened in a public park and it is not something I have personally come across before.

“I urge people to keep their eyes open for anything suspicious and to call the police and report it.

“I don’t have a dog myself but this does seem very cruel to me.”