A community is up in arms after trees that were planted to improve their area were snapped almost immediately.
Residents and businesses in the Arbury Court area believe vandals struck within hours after the two silver birches were planted yesterday (April 27).
The planting was part of a £200,000 city council effort to spruce up the square – so shopkeepers and locals are bitterly disappointed by the damage.
Jon West, owner of Arbury Court butcher's shop The Art of Meat, said: "The council planted some silver birch trees which were absolutely beautiful and just perfect for the area and it's a huge disappointment to everyone in the court that they have been vandalised already."
He described the act as "senseless vandalism".
Philip Stephenson, who has lived on Arbury Road for 30 years, said: "I can't believe it. They can barely have been up for 12 hours.
"The local shopkeepers have been pleased about the improved environment in Arbury Court. Just to have within 12 hours the trees being wrecked is beyond belief really."
Nick Hayer, whose family has run Arbury Court Fish Bar for more than 20 years, said there had been a pattern of vandalism in the court since December.
"It isn't what we want," he said. "They come and do the damage and the council comes around putting it back and then it all goes again."
Cambridge city councillor Kevin Price, who represents the area, said he had not been made aware of the damage but would aim to visit Arbury Court today (April 28).
He said: "There's £200,000 being spent on refurbishing Arbury Court, which is a well-used local centre. It was actually looking a bit tired which is why that money was being spent on it, changing the layout, having a few more trees in there.
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"If somebody has vandalised it already that would upset residents and make me very angry. I hope that somebody knows who did it and that they can be reported.
"They may be young people doing it and they may not be paying council tax by their parents probably are and their parents will be contributing to this in the way we all do."
Police said they will be contacting Cambridge City Council about the damage and urged anyone with information about it to report what they know.
You can do this by calling police on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.