A TREE planted in memory of a Hartford parish councillor was snapped in two in what is believed to be an act of vandalism.

The tribute was planted in Grange Park in Hartford to remember Eira Bowden who died in February 2019.

A bench was also installed nearby for Eira’s family to sit and remember her.

Eira had a keen interest in the village community and served as a member of Hartford Parish Council from 2009 until ill health forced her to resign in 2017.

She was instrumental in the development of the play area at Grange Park, one of the many contributions she made to the village community during her time on the parish council.

She pushed for it to be turned into a dog-free area for children to play.

Eira was also interested in the activities of the village Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and even gave up her time to accompany him on his rounds of the village on one of his night shifts, in order to gain a better understanding of his role.

Eira's son Gareth said: “Following her death from cancer a couple of years ago a tree was planted in her memory.

“The tree has been killed and snapped in two, leaving only the trunk in the ground.

“It’s clearly been a deliberate act and not just the wind.

“My dad is very upset as he used to sit on a bench next to mum’s tree.

“I’m sure it wasn’t specifically targeted but people should think twice before doing anything so thoughtless and destructive in the future.”

A spokesperson for Hartford Parish Council added: “Grange Park is owned and managed by Hartford Parish Council.

“The tree, which was installed by Northwich Town Council, was paid for by Cheshire West and Chester councillor Phil Herbert out of his Member’s Budget.

“Mr Bowden and his family attended when the tree was planted and Northwich Town Mayor attended and gave a few words.

“Unfortunately, vandals have snapped the tree off completely.

“Hartford Parish Council plans to replace the tree later in the year around November time.”

The tree was originally one of two field maples planted either side of the path near the Leslie Martin Nursery.

At a special ceremony, one of the trees was dedicated to Eira.