NEWLY planted trees have been "hacked and sawed" in what residents and council executives describe as "mindless" vandalism.

Oldham Council planted 14 beautiful trees in Dogford Park, Royton, to enhance the green space and help with drainage on the often waterlogged field.

But in three separate offences, 10 of the saplings have been "hacked down", angering those who maintain the park.

Friends of Dogford Park told the police and the council about the incidents, and the trees have had to be removed.

George Nicholson, chair of the committee, said: "We are finding it absolutely frustrating that this has happened three times.

"On one night a tree was broken and bent up.

"The next night, another five had been sawn off halfway through.

"I reported it to the police as an act of vandalism and damage

"Now it has happened again.

"The council had paid for 14 young trees. The cost to replace six of them is in the region of £1,800 when you include labour."

A combination of Birch, blossom and other colourful saplings had been planted in early March to brighten up the park.

Mr Nicholson said they were informed about the first incident on March 21 after it was spotted by a dog walker.

The second was discovered by the council's parks team who had come to investigate the next day.

The third incident occurred last night (March 28) when four more trees were damaged.

Mr Nicholson said: "The current plan is to wait until this time next year to replant them.

"If anyone has any information about what happened, please have courage and speak up."

A post on the Friends of Dogford Park Facebook page read: "We recently had 14 beautiful trees planted in Dogford Park.

"Sadly, someone has taken a hacksaw to the trunks and severed several of them which has killed them.

"What a horrible thing to do to spoil others' attempts to improve the park and at a financial cost of more than £1000."

Oldham Council called for anyone with information to contact them.

Helen Lockwood, executive director for economy, skills and neighbourhoods, said: "It is really sad to see the damage this mindless act of vandalism has caused.

"The Friends of Dogford Park and our staff invest time and money to keep the area looking good for people to enjoy and then idiots wreck their work in minutes.

"The trees will be replaced.

"If anyone has any information about who did this then please get in touch with us on 0161 770 4067 during office hours or 0161 770 4580 out of hours."