Furious residents claimed that the poisoning of a magnificent yew-tree in a Vale of Pewsey churchyard was done to try and kill it.
The 40-foot tall yew is estimated to have lived for at least 200 years and has survived the reigns of seven British monarchs as well as two world wars.
It is located in Milton Lilbourne’s graveyard, 12th-century St Peter’s parish church, Milton Lilbourne. Every person in this tiny village of only 550 residents has been considered a suspect.
It was reported that it was suffering from an illness. Tests revealed that a deliberate effort was made to remove it using poison.
It is a mystery why anybody would want to hurt the old yew. There are fewer than 500 residents in the village.
Residents furious that a magnificent yew-tree (pictured) was deliberately poisoned at a Vale of Pewsey village churchyard has claimed it had been intentionally poisoned to endanger its life.
Peter Crofton Atkins noticed that the yew was only yards away from his cottage.
“It looked sick, and half the branches were brown,” said Mr Crofton Atkins. He was so concerned that he ordered chemical laboratory tests.
The tree was laced in toxic chemicals believed to have been glyphosate, which he found out horrifying.
“They took soil samples, and determined that my garden contained 15 parts per thousand chemicals. However, below the tree the chemical levels were 10,000 parts per millions.
“The tree man stated that this was what makes it so remarkable – they had to have taken a bath with the stuff.
Milton Lilbourne’s parish council was asked by he to investigate the possibility of saving the tree.
‘I’m so angry. It is important to question yourself, “Who would commit such an act of vandalism?”
William Price, another villager, said: “I’m shocked someone would deliberately poison a 200 year-old tree.”
There is mystery surrounding why someone would want to damage the old yew in St Peter’s Parish Church, Milton Lilbourne (near Marlborough), Wiltshire
“This would be equivalent to the destruction of a building with a history of 200 years that is listed.
“That tree is part our heritage. It does a great job of absorption carbon. It is so stupid to say this about a living being.
“Please do not allow others to chop or cut any branches, as this will only increase the stress on the tree. You should give it a break for one year so that you can see how the tree does.
I have heard that some poison can be removed by watering the tree frequently. It is important to make every effort possible to save the tree.
Get good advice about how to best help your tree. Highlight the acts of barbarism committed by unknown persons to the parish council.
This act of vandalism should make the community furious. This is not acceptable.
Paul Oatway (chairman of the parish Council) said, “Peter wrote to me about this, and I asked him for more details. He hasn’t yet provided me with all details.
“But this issue will be on agenda at the next parish Council meeting. He doesn’t know exactly what he wants from the parish council. Perhaps he needs to contact the Environment Agency.
According to experts, poisoned trees may sometimes be revived when they are watered in dry periods. The dry spells will help to flush out toxins and to replace soil that is contaminated.