People putting up ‘UKIP’ boards in Boston are accused of going ‘too far’ after damaging a preserved tree marking 200 years of American Independence – however, the party has denied any involvement in the signs.
A UKIP board has been nailed to the tree at the Liquorpond Street roundabout end of John Adams Way, known as Pilgrim’s Patch. The tree is a Red Oak, and was planted in 1976 to mark 200 years since the American Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Portfolio holder for parks and open spaces Yvonne Gunter said nailing the sign into the tree was ‘going a bit too far’ and said she would be happy when it was removed.
Coun Gunter said: “I went berserk when I found out about it because it’s a preserved tree and the person who’s done it has no regard for a specimen of this type.
“I feel very saddened that someone would abuse it in this way and I want it removing.
“It’s just not on, going around hammering nails into this.”
UKIP county councillor Sue Ransome denied the party had any involvement in the boards – going as far as to say they had been reporting them to Lincolnshire County Council themselves to get them removed.
She said: “We don’t know who’s doing it but we assume it is mischief making.”
She said the signs UKIP use do not look like the crudely made ones nailed into the tree, which are basic yellow boards with purple paint, and also appear elsewhere in the town.
She added they don’t use nails to attach their signs.
Coun Ransome also stated that she had also been taking them down where they could.
She said: “I’m very upset by these boards. We wouldn’t do things like this. We ask for permission when it comes to electioneering and we wait until it is given.
“It’s all a ploy. It’s certainly not UKIP, I promise you that.”
Boston Greenscaper Rob Lauberts called the act ‘totally irresponsible’ and said there could be serious damage to the tree – including the possibility of it dying.
He said, nails which penetrate the bark could cause infection to the tree, and although effects might not be immediately visible, in two or three years the tree could die from rotting.
He said: “It was a sapling when it was planted in 1976, if they nailed into the centre of the tree they could kill it.
“It’s not a very old tree so if they use six inch nails they could get to the centre, but even if you damage the bark you can allow infection in.
“That’s why when you go to the woods, they don’t want you to scratch your name in.”
“It’s more than 30 years old. It’s part of our heritage. It annoys me when people say we’re all for English heritage and then some berk goes and sticks nails through it.”