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Devastation after fire destroys forest in Pencoedtre Park

PEOPLE are ‘devastated’ following a fire which destroyed a recently planted forest.

On May 4, at around 6pm, South Wales Police responded to reports of a fire – believed to have been started deliberately – at Pencoedtre Park. Officers are investigating CCTV footage of the scene.

Earlier this year – in February – numerous volunteers worked with Keep Wales Tidy and Vale of Glamorgan Council to plant a ‘forest’ of 1,000 trees at Pencoedtre Park – just two months later the majority of this woodland has been wiped out by a fire which is believed to have been started deliberately.

A statement, issued on behalf of Keep Wales Tidy and the Vale of Glamorgan Council states: “Over the past year, so many individuals, community groups and organisations have been working hard to make sure that post-pandemic Wales is a beautiful green land that people and nature can enjoy.

“In February, Keep Wales Tidy, in partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council, asked volunteers to help plant a tennis-court sized ‘forest’ containing 1,000 trees in Pencoedtre Park, Barry. This was part of a Wales-wide project that aimed to attract wildlife, improve air quality, remove harmful greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and help reduce localised flooding.”

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The statement continues: “Tragically, little over two months later, between 70 and 80 per cent of the area has been lost to a fire that appears to have been started deliberately. The selfish actions of a small group have destroyed something that was designed to benefit residents’ wellbeing for generations to come.

“Both Keep Wales Tidy and the Vale of Glamorgan Council are devastated by this senseless act of vandalism, which has been reported to the police. Together we will work hard to repair the damage and restore the forest to its former condition.”

Anybody with information that could help the investigation into the Pencoedtre Park fire should contact South Wales Police.

You can call them on 101, message them on their social media channels, or put in an anonymous call to Crimestoppers UK on 0800 555 111.

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