Anger as vandals destroy trees in Fife town

Anger and sadness has been the reaction following the destruction of young trees and sapplings recently planted on Moat Hill in Cupar.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 2:03 pm

During the night of Sunday, May 15, over 20 trees were vandalised, left snapped and broken, and 100 small saplings were ripped out of the ground.

The vandalism has shocked many in the local community, and an appeal has been issued for witnesses or information to find those responsible.

Environmental community group Sustainable Cupar has been involved in tree planting at Moat Hill and other areas in and around the town, and members have been saddened to see their work, and that of other volunteers, destroyed for no reason.

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Around 20 trees were snapped and broken by vandals at Moat Hill near Cupar.

In a statement, Sustainable Cupar said: “During the night of Sunday, May 15, vandals violently destroyed over 20 standard trees on Moat Hill in Cupar.

“These trees were recently planted by Fife Council. For the past year SC CAN (Sustainable Cupar Climate Action Network) has been working with the Council to plant trees in Cupar.

“This spring the group planted Woodland Trust trees around the larger trees planted by the Council on Moat Hill. Around 100 of these small saplings were ripped out the ground by the same vandals on Sunday evening.

“Sustainable Cupar volunteers have managed to save about 60 of these small trees, and these will be planted out somewhere else at a later date.”

Police are appleaing for information on those responsible for damaging the trees and ripping up saplings.

“This aggressive act will not deter the group. In fact, it will give the group more vigour to find areas locally to plant trees.”

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Cupar councillor Margaret Kennedy said members of the public were devastated by the damage caused to the trees, adding that those who did the hard work planting them would be very disheartened.

Posting on Facebook, she added: “Someone must know what happened as this is an area close to properties. We as a community must not demonstrate acceptance of this kind of behaviour.”

Police Sergeant Helen Manuel, community sergeant for Cupar and Howe of Fife, urged any member of the community with information about the vandalism to call 101 and quote callcard PS-20220516-1248, or alternatively call in at Cupar Police Station.

She said: “We want to keep our community a safe and a pleasant place for all to live and work, and we are keen to work with the community to identify and charge those responsible.”

Meanwhile, Sustainable Cupar has vowed to respond by planting more trees.

The group said: “SC CAN has a group of over 60 volunteers ready to plant trees, and the group would like to hear from people who own land and who would like to plant trees on it.

“We fundraise for trees, so the group can provide experience regarding planning and we have a large tree planting team. We can also fund the trees.

“If you have a large garden and you want to do your bit for climate change, think about planting a small orchard, or if you have a small field, plant this with native trees, and if you own a farm, contact us to help you plant new hedges.

“We especially want to hear from land owners whose land has the river running through it.

“SC CAN is working with the Eden Angling Association to get more trees along the south side of the River Eden as this will help keep the temperature of the river down as we experience climate change.”

Anyone interested in working with Sustainable Cupar, either landowners or volunteers willing to help plant trees, can contact the group via the Sustainable Cupar website.