Bloxwich residents have been appalled by a shocking and vicious campaign of vandalism against trees in the village centre which may have dog-fighting links.
The Promenade Gardens, off High Street, have been a haven from the hustle and bustle since Victorian timed, and home to the historic Bloxwich Fountain since 1928.
Now, sadly, savage devastation has been wreaked on mature trees in the popular ‘little park’, and locals are so concerned that Bloxwich East Councillor Kath Phillips has stepped in and contacted The Bloxwich Telegraph this week to raise awareness of the situation and encourage passers-by, school children, parents and teachers, drivers and busmen to keep their eyes peeled for the vandal or vandals responsible.
Speaking to The Bloxwich Telegraph Cllr Philips said:
“I am greatly upset by seeing this damage, as those who know me well know how much I love trees. These trees have been here all my lifetime.
“We need to all be vigilant and call the police if we witness anything going on. I just want the culprit caught”.
Cllr Philips also commented that she believed the damage may have links with dog-fighting, as similar damage had occurred in connection with the vicious and illegal so-called ‘sport’ in Sandwell, with dogs being trained to bite at trees and play equipment such as swing seats.
She has also approached Walsall Council staff to see what might be done to save the trees, but the damage to at least one is so severe that she fears it may be lost, and insects are already clearly visible adding to the damage done so far.
Bloxwich Police and the headteacher of the nearby Bloxwich CE Primary School, which is located across the road from the Promenade Gardens, have also been approached by Cllr Philips to ask for vigilance.
Mr Martyn Blunt, headteacher of the historic school known affectionately to generations of Bloxwich people as ‘The National’, commented to The Bloxwich Telegraph:
“The children and staff of Bloxwich C.E Primary School enjoy the pleasure of looking over to the Promenade Gardens on a daily basis at break times and lunch time, when the children play on the front playground.
“Over the years we have seen the gardens develop into a very
beautiful setting, particularly enjoying this summer watching the flower beds display the Queen’s Jubilee commemoration.
“We were saddened to come back to school after the summer, to see how some of the trees had been stripped of their bark and been damaged. We have decided to keep an eye on the gardens from our playground.”
There have since been reports of a man with a dog in the Promenade Gardens around 7.45 – 8am on Thursday, though apparently no criminal activity was seen on this occasion and the man may be unconnected with the incident.
The Bloxwich Telegraph has now joined the campaign against this vicious attack on our historic gardens, and we are asking all our readers and their friends and families to keep their eyes peeled for any suspicious persons, especially with a dog or dogs, in the Promenade Gardens, and if they see anything suspicious, to report this to the police.
It is important, however, that the vandal(s), whomever they may be, should not be approached by members of the public, as either they or their dog(s) may be dangerous.
Bloxwich Police can be contacted by telephone on 101, or in emergencies only on 999.
Anyone wary of speaking to the police direct can also report criminal activity anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.