A row of mature lime trees, which were poisoned, have been replaced in order to restore the wooded approach to a Morpeth development site.
Mayor of Morpeth, Coun Nic Best, and county councillor for Morpeth North, Coun David Bawn, helped plant the new trees along the access road to Linden Homes’ Saint George housing scheme.
Coun Best said: “It is very good that the character of this part of Morpeth is being restored.
“Like many, I was shocked to discover what had happened to these old trees and am relieved that they are being replaced.”
Coun Bawn added: “It is pleasing to see that this puzzling case has eventually reached a positive conclusion.
“In restoring this avenue of trees, we are reflecting the town’s motto – Inter Silvas Et Flumina Habitans, living between woods and water.
“Hopefully they will thrive and stand for years to come.”
The felling and replanting process was arranged through Newcastle-based One Landscapes, which provides design, maintenance and management services for schemes from private urban gardens to large business parks.
Sean Egan, managing director with Galliford Try Partnerships North, of which Linden Homes is the new house-building division, said the previous trees were beautiful, adding: “I am pleased that we have been able to demonstrates our commitment to this by working with our local council colleagues to professionally remove the old trees and replant new ones which will, in the fullness of time, become just as majestic.”
Experts had concluded that whoever poisoned the trees – believed to have been standing for more than 100 years – would have had to make multiple visits and probably operated at night.
A police investigation did not identify anyone as being responsible.
Planning permission for the development singled out the trees for preservation.
Mr Egan said: “We were stunned by what happened to these trees and cannot think of why anyone would do such a thing. They were beautiful specimens which really entranced this extremely attractive development.”