vandals armed with a chainsaw have hacked down trees in Shipley Wood leaving local residents ‘heartbroken’.
Residents noticed the damage after discovering one of the trees blocking a road near to the wood.
Shipley parish councillor Val Trevan described the trees that have been felled as local landmarks.
She said: “I just don’t understand why someone has done this, it’s heartbreaking. It is nothing but sheer, mindless vandalism on a scale that we’ve never seen around here before.
“People have watched those trees grow over the years, they’ve been there since I moved in more than 18 years ago.
“This is a big job, a real effort to go to, the trees that have been cut down were four massive trees.
“Some people have suggested the trees were felled for their wood but I really don’t understand why someone would go to such extremes.”
The trees damaged were a 60-year-old oak, a 70-year-old sycamore and an 80-year-old Scots pine, as well as another ‘mature’ tree of which the age and type was unknown.
A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’re extremely saddened by this despicable act of vandalism.
“These trees can’t be replaced – we can plant saplings but they won’t grow to the same maturity in our lifetime.
“Worse still, it’s bird nesting season so who knows what damage has been done to our local wildlife.”
Cllr Trevan added: “We’ve had some incidents of vandalism in the woods before, people have hacked at the trees with axes and things like that but this is unbelievable.
“It’s so upsetting for so many people and for me, it’s distressing.
“You just can’t replace trees like those that have been damaged.
“It’s something that we, as a community, cannot just sit back and ignore.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire police said that the damage happened between 10pm on Good Friday and 9am on Saturday, April 23.
Anyone with information or who was in the area at the time should call Derbyshire detectives working on the case on 0345 1233333 and quote the crime reference number 20762/11.