Vandalism hits the Stray: Harrogate residents urge vandals to stop spoiling our town

The vandalised trees on the Stray.
The vandalised trees on the Stray.

In a week of huge success for our district’s In Bloom groups, Harrogate residents have made an impassioned plea to stop vandals spoiling the beauty of our town.

The results of this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom competition were announced on Tuesday, with top awards being presented to a number of groups for their work in making our green spaces look the best that they can be.

But sadly, against this backdrop, reader Andrew Mann contacted the‘Advertiser earlier this week about vandalism of cherry trees on the Stray, near Tewit Well. This summer has also seen a spate of vandalism in Valley Gardens.

Mr Mann said: “I found this wanton destruction thoroughly depressing. I cannot understand why anyone would want to make the environment uglier. What pleasure is derived from destroying? The council does its best, in concert with many volunteers and kind donations from the public, to enhance our town, and this behaviour is both dispiriting as well as wasteful.”

Coun John Ennis (Con, Stray ward), said: “The Stray is one of the most-loved features of Harrogate, and its trees are a large part of what makes it so special. So, like me, local people were distressed and angered recently to see this vandalism.

“These trees had been paid for by local people. Harrogate fortunately has less of a vandalism problem than some towns, but an attack like this brings home to people that mindless vandalism is an attack on all of us.”

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Mindless vandalism such as this is sickening, and causes great anger and upset in the local community. Someone must know who was responsible for the damage or possibly witnessed the incident. If you can help the police to bring the culprits to justice, please come forward with information without delay.”