A TREE has been felled in a park in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour by youngsters.

Malvern Town Council said it had removed the beech tree in a bid to make an area near a pavilion in the town’s popular Victoria Park ‘easier to observe.’

However, the action has upset one Malvern resident who said they were outraged the ‘perfectly healthy’ tree had been destroyed.

The man, who does not want to be named, said he was concerned when he saw workmen arrive at the popular park, located off the Worcester Road, Malvern.

Although some trees in the county are protected by a Tree Preservation Order, meaning any work or removal has to be granted by written consent from the local planning authority, the council has said the tree was not protected.

A spokeswoman for Malvern Town Council said: “We checked before felling the tree - which is actually a beech tree - by speaking to the tree officer from Malvern District Council who said no permission was needed and the tree could be removed. We’ve been working with the safer neighbourhood team in Malvern for some time on anti-social behaviour at Victoria Park, particularly at the pavilion end where the tree was situated.

“The felling now improves the direct line of sight, making the area easier to observe. The types of negative behaviour we hope to discourage are littering and vandalism.

“Members of the public as well as council staff have complained about some young people being rude to them, which we don’t tolerate as it puts people off using the park and our staff don’t come to work to be abused.

“The tree was also shedding tree debris so this was also a contributing factor in the removal.”

We’ve previously reported on the ‘disgust’ Kate Kemper, aged 35 of Pickersleigh, in Malvern felt when she discovered drug paraphernalia in May last year in the park.

She said at the time: “It’s disgusting. There’s broken glass there. There’s a [marijuana] grinder in one picture.

“I opened it up to make sure there was nothing in there. I don’t want my children to see what it is or get a hold of it.

“I suppose the teenagers are dumping it. The park isn’t that bad, it’s the skate park round the back.

Malvern Town Council said they do not have CCTV monitoring at Victoria Park and they are not planning to remove any of the other trees.