A magnolia tree in Connahs' Quay park, planted in memory of Flintshire women's group member, has been destroyed by vandals. 

The Deeside Steel Magnolias Women's Institue, arranged for a magnolia tree to be planted at Wepre Park, Connah's Quay earlier this year.

The money used to purchase the tree was collected at a funeral for Sylvia Whitehouse,  a member who passed away from Covid in 2021 and the tree was dedicated to her memory.

Last Saturday tree was vandalised causing significant damage. 

Flintshire’s Access and Natural Environment Manager, Tom Woodall, said: “Last Saturday evening a commemorative Magnolia tree was significantly vandalised at Wepre Park. 

"This is disappointing and indicative of the increasing challenges we have with antisocial behaviour onsite."

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The vandalism has had a huge impact on the Deeside Steel Magnolias and the family of Mrs Whitehouse.

Dorothy Edwards, vice president of Deeside Steel Magnolias, said: "As our group is called Deeside Steel Magnolias, we all agreed it would be a fitting tribute to our late friend and member to plant a magnolia tree in her memory.

"Two of our members are sisters of the deceased lady, and they are really upset by the events of the last couple of days."

The group is hoping to raise awareness about the effects vandalism can have in the local community.

Mrs Edwards added: "The message I would send to the perpetrators would be: Think about what you are doing when you act in this way. 

"To you, it is "just a tree" but to a grieving family, it is a memorial to a wife, mother, sister and aunt. 

"Think about how you would feel if this happened to something you hold dear in memory of a loved one who has passed away."

The Friends of Wepre Park are hoping to attempt to save the tree through coppicing, which involves cutting the tree back to ground level in the hope it will regrow.

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However, if this rescue attempt fails, the Deeside Steel Magnolias may host a further fundraiser to replace the tree and then attempt to protect it. 

The memorial tree was actually the second to be planted after initial vandalism on the site in early 2022. 

Friends of Wepre Park said: "There has been a considerable increase in antisocial behaviour in the park over the last few weeks.

"If you witness any groups of individuals causing damage could you please report it to the police using the 101 phone number."