Arbory and Rushen Parish Commissioners has stated its ‘dismay’ at damage to the soon to be developed Ballakilley site in Rushen.

The site, which is inbetween the Cronk View Crescent estate and Rushen Church, had roughly 400 saplings planted in it by volunteers in March 2023.

But the green space has recently been damaged, with the Commissioners seeking to prosecute whoever’s responsible.

A notice at the Ballakilley site reads: ‘Arbory and Rushen Parish Commissioners would be grateful to anyone who can help in identifying the dog owner who is willfully allowing their animal to rip out the tree protection tubes, saplings and stakes in the adjoining field.

‘Considerable time and effort, as well as ratepayers’ money, has been expended in setting up this planting scheme and consequently the Commissioners are determined to see this individual prosecuted.

‘If you have any information which will help us, please ring 456784, 416221 or 834501.’

The field in which the damage has taken place is not yet officially open to the public, with the authority saying they will ‘reluctantly take measures to ensure the field is inaccessible if the damage continues’.

The site, which lies to the south of Rushen Church, was planted with trees last year by volunteers from the Isle of Man Woodland Trust and Utmost International Isle of Man and has since being maintained by the commissioners.

Commissioner David Radcliffe, who participated in the planting and has helped maintain the trees, said: ‘There’s not much maintenance work to do over the winter, so I hadn’t visited the site for a few months. What I witnessed was quite soul destroying.

‘Hours of hard work has been ruined by someone who apparently thinks it’s okay for their dog to destroy Commissioners’ property and wreck many hours of volunteer work.

‘It’s hard to imagine how the dog owner can be so irresponsible, and the Commissioners will prosecute them if sufficient evidence can be obtained.’