A SUSPECTED mystery vandal has sparked fury by allegedly poisoning mature trees - with locals claiming the suspect is trying to improve their view of the Cornish coastline.

The sycamores in Bowjey Woods were planted 50 years ago and overlook the seafront and harbour at Newlyn.

Falmouth Packet:

The Bowjey Woods in Newlyn, Cornwall, can be seen from Penzance. Credit SWNS

But during a recent inspection experts have confirmed to locals that many of them had been tampered with and injected with herbicide to try and kill them off.


The trees have been described as "just about hanging on" but furious neighbours have now issued a warning for users of the woodland to be on guard.

Matt Thompson, 30, part of a volunteer group of self employed gardeners who have been clearing up the woods in their spare time, said he discovered the problem during a recent site visit from Cornwall Council contractors Cormac.

Falmouth Packet:

Trees at the Bowjey Woods in Newlyn, Cornwall, have been drilled and mistreated. Credit SWNS 

He said: "We had a meeting with Cormac that was essentially a safety inspection in the woods.

''While with us, they confirmed suspicions that some of the long standing trees had been drilled into and injected with a herbicide as if they wanted to kill the trees off.

"Our suspicion is that the trees were blocking someone's views and they wanted to kill them off to restore their view.

"The crucial thing is not who they are but what they are doing and it is important we expose that to protect the woods.

''Now people know they can keep an eye on them as they walk through."


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Matt has worked alongside Maryjane Wallis and Samson Wallis to found the Friends of Rosebud Gardens and Bowjey Woods and they give up their time to tend to the area.

Falmouth Packet:

The Bowjey Woods in Newlyn, Cornwall, can be seen from Penzance. Credit SWNS

Prior to their intervention much of the woodland was overgrown, but after months of hard work they have cleared pathways, made the paths safe and installed bat boxes.

Matt added: ""People are very unhappy this is throwing a spanner in our efforts to enhance the local area. The area has been neglected for some time.

"We started our project about a year ago but noticed the problem about a month ago. Cormac say the trees are just about hanging on.

"They think this was done a few summers ago but the trees are just about pulling through.

"Cormac have confirmed someone drilled into the trees."

Cornwall Council said it initially was made aware of the issue in 2018.

A spokesperson added: "It was discovered that holes had been drilled around the base of several trees at Bowjey Woods by unknown parties. There were also signs of dieback which indicated the use of a herbicide.

"We are pleased to report that the affected trees have now mainly recovered, and there has been no repeat of the incident in the three-year intervening period."