VANDALS have been condemned after trees planted in a Peebles park to mark a special milestone were damaged.

Saplings were put into the ground at Victoria Park in 2012 in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee – the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

Last week, members of campaign group Save Victoria Park noticed that the tops of a number of trees had been snapped off.

A spokesperson said: “It’s so disappointing that someone would do this, particularly as those trees were planted by the community.

“If people use the park, they should respect the nature that makes it special.”

Back in 2012, that year’s golden anniversary Beltane Queen, Sandra McGrath, joined dozens of families to plant 420 saplings in the park.

The trees were donated by the Borders Forest Trust and Scottish Borders Council.

Tweeddale East councillor Julie Pirone reported the recent damage to Police Scotland.

She said: “It is extremely disappointing that these trees to mark the late Queen’s Diamond Jubilee have been vandalised and broken.”

Park user Catriona Hamilton said that people had witnessed the trees being damaged.

“I know there has been an ongoing issue with antisocial behaviour in Peebles which is trying to be addressed,” she added.

A member of the public, who did not want to be named, said of the vandalism: “That’s annoying and really sad – what a pointless act.”

All three Tweeddale East councillors – Ms Pirone, Robin Tatler and Marshall Douglas – also put out a joint statement which read: “We would remind anyone who witnesses vandalism to report it to the Police using the 101 system.

“It does appear, however, that on closer inspection these two trees appear to have stopped growing some considerable time ago.

“Our parks maintenance team propose to remove the dead trees and replace them with new trees in a different location in the park.

“We are sure that this proposal will be welcomed by those involved in the original planting, but we will consult with them and Peebles Community Council before doing this.”

Police Scotland were asked for a comment.