THIRTY tree saplings planted in York for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee have been destroyed.

The trees were planted in Heworth by 60 Year 5 pupils from Hempland Primary Academy.

But earlier this month the trees were targeted - with the saplings either being taken away or uprooted.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed that two children had admitted causing the damage and were given "words of advice" from a local police community support officer. 

The saplings were donated by the Woodland Trust to Heworth Without Parish Council (HWPC) for the council's Diamond Jubilee Wood.

HWPC confirmed that the trees will be replaced ahead of an unveiling at a jubilee picnic event on June 5.

Gayle Enion-Farrington, clerk to HWPC, said: "On Monday, March 14, all 60 students in Year 5 at Hempland school were subjected to a crash course in tree planting techniques developed by Heworth Without Parish Council.

“Disappointingly, by May, HWPC had to report that the 30 saplings had been destroyed.

"Most of them have been taken away, a few just left uprooted - which are unlikely to survive. 

“Sadly, this is not in isolation and St Nicks recently reported that 50 saplings had been stolen from Millennium Field."

At the time of planting the samplings, Councillor Roger Cook, of HWPC, said: "It was most gratifying to see how involved the children were in this planting. They now have an interest in the trees they have planted and will surely watch them grow and treat them with respect.

"Their ‘thank yous’ as they left the site were truly heart-warming!"

The vandalism in Heworth comes just two weeks after 50 newly planted trees in York went missing, in an unreleated incident.  

As reported by The Press in April, the trees were stolen from the Millennium Field, near York's Millennium Bridge.

The missing trees were also donated by the Woodland Trust. 

York Press: Trees were stolen from York's Millennium Field two weeks before the vandalism in HeworthTrees were stolen from York's Millennium Field two weeks before the vandalism in Heworth

Habitats officer, Nicola Ward, speaking about the Millennium Field thefts, previously told The Press: "The newly planted trees were taken from the patch between the copse at Millennium Fields and the river, so the people who took them would have been out of sight, hidden by the cover of the mature trees in the copse when they were digging them out.

"We expect to lose a couple that won't take but we've never had anything on this kind of scale happen before.

"We weren't sure if people were thinking they were all one species or knew they were mixed. We genuinely cannot make heads or tails of it."

She said the theft had not been reported to the police as she hadn't believed there would be any way of tracking the trees down.

The habitats officer said that anyone with information should call 101 and report it to the police.