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Youngster’s heartbreak after her Christmas tree which stood for nine years was chopped down

PUBLISHED: 11:33 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:57 10 July 2020

Chloe Preston, from Thetford, planted a Christmas tree outside of her grandparent's home, on Arlington Way, when she was just two years old. But it has now been chopped down. Photo: Keeley Saul

Chloe Preston, from Thetford, planted a Christmas tree outside of her grandparent's home, on Arlington Way, when she was just two years old. But it has now been chopped down. Photo: Keeley Saul

Keeley Saul

An 11-year-old has told of her heartbreak after a Christmas tree she planted with her grandad nine years ago was chopped down by vandals.

Chloe Preston, nine years ago, when she was about to plant her Christmas tree outside of her grandparent's home in Arlington Way, in Thetford. Photo: Keeley SaulChloe Preston, nine years ago, when she was about to plant her Christmas tree outside of her grandparent's home in Arlington Way, in Thetford. Photo: Keeley Saul

Chloe Preston, from Thetford, planted the tree outside her grandparent’s home, on Arlington Way, when she was just two years old.

Having grown alongside her, the tree has held a special place in Chloe’s heart but on Thursday it was discovered that it had been chopped it down and dumped it in a nearby bush.

Chloe’s mother, Keeley Saul, took to their community Facebook group, Thetford Forum, to share her daughter’s disappointment.

Chloe said: “I got it for Christmas when I was two-years-old, and my grandad helped me plant it opposite my nan’s house in the woods.

Chloe's tree in Arlington Way, in Thetford, was decorated by the community during lockdown. Photo: Keeley SaulChloe's tree in Arlington Way, in Thetford, was decorated by the community during lockdown. Photo: Keeley Saul

“It was really nice, and it meant a lot to me, my nan and grandad.

“People also put decorations and cards on it through lockdown, so it made really happy because it felt like it meant something to other people too.

“When my mum told me, it made me feel really upset because of how much someone can be so horrible. I just don’t understand why.”

On the same day, the Thetford family were also given the news that Chloe’s 100-year-old great grandfather, Harry Pringle, from Chester, had died.

Chloe Preston from Thetford has told of her heartbreak after a tree she planted nine years ago has been chopped down. Photo: Keeley SaulChloe Preston from Thetford has told of her heartbreak after a tree she planted nine years ago has been chopped down. Photo: Keeley Saul

But now the youngster has been offered another Christmas tree and she hopes to plant it as a memorial to him.

Chloe, who attends Garboldisham Primary School, added: “He always made me really happy and he was so important to our family.

“So, I said to my mum why don’t we plant a new tree and put a memorial there for my great grandad?

Ms Saul added: “I’m upset because you never expect that to happen and the whole of the community enjoyed it over lockdown - when it started there were lovely decorations cards saying ‘stay safe’.

Chloe Preston and her granddad, from Thetford. Photo: Keeley SaulChloe Preston and her granddad, from Thetford. Photo: Keeley Saul

“It has always been known as Chloe’s tree and most people are pretty disgusted.

“We just don’t understand why someone would do that.”

Chloe Preston's great grandfather Harry Pringle passed away the same day they discovered her tree had been chopped down. Now she hopes to plant another in memorial to him. Photo: Keeley SaulChloe Preston's great grandfather Harry Pringle passed away the same day they discovered her tree had been chopped down. Now she hopes to plant another in memorial to him. Photo: Keeley Saul

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