A RESIDENT has said expressed his anger over what he calls “shameful vandalism” along the River Derwent.

Mike Kitching claims the thorn bushes on the river bank near his home in Town Street, in Old Malton, are an important home to wildlife.

He said: “In comparison to the damage and destructions of daffodils in and around Malton and Norton, I consider the damage to the thorn bushes on the River Derwent bank at Old Malton to be much more serious.

“The daffodils will flower again next year, but due to act of gross negligence, the well-established thorns cut off leaving approximately 20 ms stumps will not recover.

“The thorns were in no way obstructing the flow of the rive.

“A thorn in full flower is a beauty to the eye of any nature lover and the buses are important homes to local wildlife and birds, which are already in decline.

“I have personally maintained the bushes over the last 10 years to ensure they were not overhanging the river, but all that remains now of the five bushes is pile of wood chips.

“The Environment Agency, in my opinion, must shoulder the blame and responsibility for this shameful act of vandalism.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We have a role to reduce flood risk.

“We can’t prevent flooding from rivers and streams entirely, but we can reduce the likelihood of flooding by ensuring that rivers, becks and streams are free from fallen trees and other debris so that in high rain events water remains in the channel.

“The requirement to carry out tree works along the River Derwent has been identified through a series of walkovers and surveys.

“Every tree survey considers the environmental setting and is assessed by an ecological consultant.

“Our objective is not to remove all the trees from the channel, but instead to maintain the channel to achieve an optimum condition for flood alleviation and conveyance.

“We liaise with ecological consultants to ensure that bats and their roosts are not impacted by the works together with other protected species.”