Sad to say I have truly dastardly doings to report this fine morning. Two trees overlooking a sea cliff in the UK’s Dorset have been poisoned. And it gets even darker—locals suspect wealthy flat owners seeking an improved view and, therefore, increased property values.


This tale of murder most foul comes via the Telegraph. The scene: “the picturesque West Cliff area of Bournemouth, Dorset.” The means:

Council officials are now investigating the criminal damage, which has involved someone making numerous drill holes deep into the trunks of the two trees to pour in poisonous chemicals.

Experts believe the holes have been made over two different growing seasons a year apart.

As a result of the damage, the trees might now have to be cut down.


The locals are pretty sure they’ve already got this case nailed. They don’t have a smoking gun, but they say it’s a simple question of motive. Who could be more motivated than someone who owns an up-to £500,000 flat whose view of Poole Bay is blocked by these two trees? Said one man:

“People are very angry and it’s rather nasty because we all know each other, it’s like a little village here. You start to wonder about your neighbours. It’s not nice.

“It’s obvious why someone has done it - people do it to improve the view and they think ‘if I got rid of that it will put £15,000 value on my flat’.

“It is quite incredible what lengths people will go to if they want a particular tree removed,” the Reverend Christopher Colledge of the West Cliff Green Residents’ Association chimed in. He expressed his hopes the police would investigate, “especially in regard to people in the area who might be able to get a better view with those trees gone,” because it’s the principle of the thing: “People just can’t go around drilling holes into trees in a public park because they don’t like their location.”

Again, it is worth noting that the basis for these claims appears to be supposition, rather than hard evidence. Gonna be awkward down at the tea shop later!

Photo via screencap.