Shire of Dardanup workers were left to clean up a mess after vandals damaged and destroyed trees at Eaton’s Marri Reserve.
Shire environment officer Jackie Nichol said she was shocked, scared and than saddened when she saw the extent of the damage on the reserve off Peppermint Way.
“After the shock I was a little scared because I started to think that someone was wielding some sort of weapon while wandering through the local bush reserves which I visit all the time,” she said.
Ms Nichol said the damage was caused some time over the last month as she regularly checked all of the shire reserves.
“We haven’t done an official count because they have done small damage to some trees but there are at least 35 that have been chopped off completely,” she said.
“The long-term damage is a lot more than that because they’ve really had a go at everything.
“The other really sad thing is that they’ve taken out some really slow-growing trees.”
Jarrah, banksia and marri trees — including one that is 400 years old — populate the reserve, along with two species of sun orchid not found on any other reserve in the shire.
Ms Nichols said it would take a long time for the reserve to recover fully.
“It all depends on the resources available but it will certainly be a long time,” she said.
“I also don’t know how they’ve damaged the understorey so much but now we need to be coming back regularly to control weeds as well.”
A planting day to help revegetate the area will take place in late May or early June, depending on the weather.
Ms Nichols invited residents wanting to help with the restoration to contact her.