POLICE have told a Sheffield sports club they will be unable to investigate the bizarre poisoning of a 100-year-old sycamore tree at the ground.
The sycamore, which is dying, was found with more than 10 copper pipes inserted in its trunk during a routine inspection of trees at Hillsborough Arena, Hillsborough Park.
Louise Neild, arena enterprise manager, said: “The police have told us that there is nothing they can do without evidence of who is responsible and we don’t know who did this or when.
“We are a registered charity and it is now going to cost us about £1,000 to remove the dead tree.
“This is money we do not have and we are not sure where the funding will come from.
“But there are more large trees around our site and we are now worried in case the same thing happens again.”
The trees around the arena, the home of Hillsborough Arena Sports Association and a base for clubs including Hillsborough Hawks rugby league team, are only inspected once every three years.
Ms Neild said she was relieved the damage to the tree had been spotted in the inspection, so it could be removed before its condition deteriorates and it begins to pose a danger.
She said: “It’s a good job the damage was found.
“The tree is not in immediate danger of falling down but it will need to be felled – otherwise branches could fall on neighbouring properties.
Sheffield Council confirmed the incident has been reported to them.