Who is chopping down Swansea's trees?

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Residents of Swansea have noticed a recent spate of mysterious tree fellings.  As reported by the South Wales Evening Post, trees along the Swansea foreshore have been illegally chopped down in the dead of night, some trees being partly hacked and left to topple over, or be removed by the council due to health and safety concerns.

Blackpill tree vandalism

However, this problem is not a new phenonema.  Tree vandalism in the area has been recorded in previous years too.

Date Location Trees affected
31 Mar 2010 Underhill Park, Mumbles, near the corner of Langland Road and Newton Road, opposite Mumbles Baptist Church. Young trees

8 felled, 4 damaged and removed
28 Mar 2011 Along the main footpath at Rotherslade Road in Langland Mature trees bored and injected with pesticides
22 Feb 2012 From the skate ramp in Blackpill to opposite the Grange Territorial Army Centre in West Cross. 6-7 trees cut down or sawn 3/4 through trunk
26 Feb 2013 From the skate ramp in Blackpill to opposite the Grange Territorial Army Centre in West Cross. 7 trees partly sawn through and removed by the council.
28 Feb 2013 From the skate ramp in Blackpill to opposite the Grange Territorial Army Centre in West Cross. 2 trees partly sawn through and removed by the council.
06 Mar 2013 Opposite Llwynderw Drive, West Cross A 45ft mature ash tree partly sawn through and removed by the council.
13 Mar 2013 At Mumbles' Underhill Park, near its border with Newton Road 25-35ft silver birch and ash trees. 1 felled and 5 partly sawn through and removed by the council.

Your average armchair detective might suspect a common modus operandi in action, which suggests there is a link between the attacks, either by same perpetrator or copycat crime. Most of these records show similar types of vandalism, particularly the fact that trees have been left partly chopped down and a danger to the public. Two main locations have also been targetted, with the Blackpill area attacked at the same time each year. 

In similar cases in the UK where a criminal conviction has been made, the perpetrator has often had the motive to selfishly improve their view from their property.  This is something to consider in this case as many houses in this location overlook Swansea Bay.  However, despite the similar types, methods and times of the vandalism, the divergent locations of Blackpill and Underhill Park indicate the motive to be different or more complex.

Environmental vandalism

The vandalism will likely cease now that the sap has started to rise this spring, however, Swansea residents should remain vigilant and be prepared for repeated attacks next February and March.

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