Vandals have hacked down more than 20 trees at community tree-planting site on the western bank of the Wilsons River in Lismore.
Community members planted the trees in May last year, below the Ballina Road bridge,
Most of them had grown to three metres in height and were helping to stabilise the eroding riverbank, which has been the site of landslips in the past.
The native vegetation also provided aquatic habitat, and improved visual amenity, water quality, fish stocks and recreational fishing, according to Richmond River County Council’s floodplain project officer Garry Owers.
‘Riparian restoration works are currently occurring on the Wilsons River at the southern side of the Ballina Road bridge. We ask that the community keep an eye on the area and report anyone damaging vegetation to Lismore City Council,’ Mr Owers said.
He added that security measures are being implemented to deter future vandalism.
The tree planting took place under the supervision of WetlandCare Australia and through funding from North Coast Local Land Services.
The area is managed by Richmond River County Council and Lismore City Council.