Extensive ‘deliberate’ damage to trees in a Grimsby park has prompted council and police officials to issue a warning to anti-social dog owners.
The damage to trees at Grant Thorold Park is clearly visible at the roots of a number of trees.
It is suspected to be caused by so-called ‘status’ or ‘weapon’ dogs.
These dogs are encouraged by their owners to strengthen their jaws by chewing on bark. By stripping bark away from the trees, they expose the living part of the tree which is open to infection or further damage.
The incidents have been reported to the police. North East Lincolnshire Council is urging any witnesses to vandalism against tree and plant life to report the matter to police on 101.
A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “Our parks are intended to be beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy. Sadly, we have recently investigated reports of several trees in Grant Thorold Park showing signs of deliberate damage, which we believe has been caused by ‘status’ or ‘weapon’ dogs.
“This is unacceptable. These trees are now more exposed to decay and disease.
“Trees that are damaged don’t always ‘just grow back’. In some cases they can become unstable and have to be removed.
“We’re also concerned about the danger that these dogs may pose to other people if they get loose in the park.
“The damage caused to these trees is vandalism, and therefore this has been reported to the police. Perpetrators will be prosecuted.”
The council spokesperson added: “Trees and plant life are the lungs of our planet. They absorb lots of harmful pollution, and provide a home for lots of diverse species of wildlife and insects.
“We’re asking all responsible dog owners to please help us to protect our green spaces by keeping your dogs on a lead and discouraging them from causing damage to trees.”