Vandals attack Fingal beach tree
FINGAL residents are angry over the destruction of a tree at Fingal Beach.
Fingal Head Community Association president Dawn Walker said residents found the 50-year-old pandanus stand damaged with several stems chopped down and used as a makeshift windbreak.
"We just had the wind knocked out of us," Ms Walker said.
"We are really concerned. This sort of thing is often the legacy of a big holiday weekend."
Ms Walker said the situation seemed to be getting worse.
"It is so frustrating to have people here for the beauty then for whatever reason start knocking into the trees," she said.
"At this rate we are going to lose all the vegetation."
Ms Walker said Tweed Shire Council was doing a "marvellous job" and was planting the cut stems in an effort to save them.
A council spokeswoman said natural resource management officers inspected the scene and believed it was more likely the work of children on school holidays building a shelter, rather than environmental vandalism.
"This does not diminish the seriousness of the offence, as pandanus is slow growing, iconic coastal trees which have been under stress," the spokeswoman said.
"Along with other coastal vegetation, they play an important role in protecting the dunal system.
"Anyone who sees this type of activity taking place is asked to contact council immediately."
The council will attempt to plant some of the cut-off limbs to see if they may regrow, which pandanus can do.