TREES planted to replace two poisoned maritime pines have again been attacked by vandals.

Last week residents living near West Cliff Green in Bournemouth were shocked to discover one of the six replacement Scots pines snapped in half.

The trees were planted earlier this summer surrounding two dead trees which had been deliberately poisoned by persons unknown over a period of two years.

However in July the replacements were targeted by vandals with their bark hacked away, exposing the sapwood.

Council parks workers say the snapped tree will be replaced.

The Reverend Christopher Colledge, chairman of the West Cliff Green Residents Association, said: "It is a bit like deja vu, the council has done everything possible to fence off the area, and this has not been done by the wind.

"The trees were doing really well even after the attack where they were knifed earlier this year.

"Quite honestly it is absolutely appalling. Trees aren't that important in the grand scheme of things but they are very important to people in the West Cliff community.

"The parks department are adamant that this criminal damage will not win the day. That area will be turned into a nature reserve for wildlife."

Mr Colledge also called for CCTV to be installed at the location and for the fence to be made higher until the trees mature.

Bore holes in the original trees were discovered last year, and an investigation revealed they had been used to kill the plants with herbicide.

Although the culprits have not been identified, the council parks team decided to plant six new trees on the site as a replacement to demonstrate that efforts to sabotage the originals had failed.

Andy McDonald, Head of Parks Operations, said: "Unfortunately one of the newly planted young pine trees planted as replacements for the trees poisoned on West Cliff Green has been deliberately snapped in half.

"This could not have been done without climbing into the fenced area, thus indicating this was a deliberate act of vandalism.

"This is extremely disappointing for both the parks team and the members of the public who enjoy these trees. We will replant the trees in due course."

The vandalism has been reported to Dorset Police and witnesses are asked to contact the force on 101.