Centenary oak is destroyed

PUBLISHED: 15:52 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 10 June 2010

VANDALS have struck in Phear Park, destroying a piece of Exmouth s history. In June this year an oak tree to mark the centenary of the gifting of the park to the people of Exmouth was planted by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon.

VANDALS have struck in Phear Park, destroying a piece of Exmouth's history.

In June this year an oak tree to mark the centenary of the gifting of the park to the people of Exmouth was planted by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon.

Over the weekend the newly-planted oak tree was destroyed after being snapped in two.

Lionel Howell, recently retired chairman of Exmouth's 531st Tribute Fund, who organised the tree planting during the June party-in-the-park D-Day celebrations, said the damage was deliberate vandalism by mindless yobs.

He said he was unsure what the next move was as further memorials or trees could be targeted.

Mr Howell said the new tree had become a tourist attraction for visiting Americans who had been stationed next to Phear Park during World War Two.

The new tree had replaced the park's mighty oak which fell during the winter storms.

Mr Howell said: "So many people had admired it. It was part of Exmouth's history. Whoever did it snapped it clean in half. They must have used some force because it was well-established and was blooming. People who go around doing this just for the sake of it are idiots.

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