'Sick' vandal drilled 56 holes and poured poison into one of Burnley's oldest trees

Neighbours in Worsthorne have been left "disgusted" after a mystery vandal attempted to destroy one of Burnley's oldest trees when they drilled holes in it and filled it with poison.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 11:08 am
Gill Sarchet with Gordon Birtwistle (left) at the tree

Extwistle Road resident Mrs Gill Sarchet said she had been left sickened afer discovering that the 100ft sycamore tree in her garden had been the target of deliberate vandalism.

The sycamore, which is over 100 years-old and is the subject of a tree preservation order, may now have been irrevocably damaged after the callous vandal drilled 56 holes and injected it with some kind of chemical.

Gill said: "I first discovered something was wrong when I realised the tree was going brown. I thought that was a bit strange and when I looked closer I could see all these deep holes had been drilled into it. Whoever had done this had also then poured some kind of chemical or poison into the holes in an attempt to kill it.

Some of the holes in the sycamore

"I have lived here nine years and I am so upset about this. We call it our 'Avatar Tree', it is amazing. It's absolutely disgusting that someone could do this. Not only that, whoever did this has trespassed on our property. It has made my daughter feel anxious about leaving the house on her own at night."

Mrs Sarchet said the tree, believed to be one of the oldest in Burnley, was originally part of an orchard.

Former Burnley MP, Coun. Gordon Birtwistle has now taken up the fight to bring whoever committed the vandalism to justice. Coun. Birtwistle said perpetrators could be facing a £20,000 fine.

He said: "I think we know who did it but we just need evidence. This tree takes tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere. We can ill afford to lose them. Whoever did this is sick."