Vandals kill Heath tree in a bid to retrieve toy plane

MINDLESS idiots attacked a tree on Hampstead Heath on Sunday night with a saw in a bid to retrieve a model aeroplane which was stuck in its branches.

Someone hacked into the mighty horse chestnut tree on Pryors Field in a bid to bring it to the ground but only managed to saw a quarter of the way into the trunk.

That was sadly enough to force Heath bosses to fell the great tree, which would otherwise have been a danger to passers-by.

It is believed two men, who were playing with an expensive model aeroplane toy on Sunday when it became lodged in the tree’s branches, returned during the night to attempt to chop down the tree and retrieve their toy.

Danny Murphy, ranger supervisor at Hampstead Heath, said: “Unfortunately we had no choice but to fell the tree as it posed a risk to public safety, particularly given that the Heath was extremely busy over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“We are hopeful it will re-grow and are liaising closely with the Met Police to assist their investigation into how the tree was damaged.”

A message written on the tree reads: “Apparently some idiotic young men flew their mechanical airplane into the tree and couldn’t get it down so they half-chopped the tree and the Heath had to cut the tree for safety. Those young men should be arrested as vandals of our beautiful Heath – it’s tragic.”

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Police are currently investigating, together with the Heath Constabulary.