Mystery of the Matlock 'phantom bark stripper'

The Derbyshire Rural Crime Team posted this picture of one of the targeted trees on its Facebook page.
The Derbyshire Rural Crime Team posted this picture of one of the targeted trees on its Facebook page.

A 'phantom bark stripper' is on the loose in Matlock.

According to police, a number of young trees in the area have recently 'fallen victim' to someone who has been tearing bark off them in long shreds.

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A spokesperson for the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team said: "Animals have been ruled out as there are tool marks around the bases and long strips pulled off upwards from them.

"Bark is an integral part of a tree's life system and the owner has already had to cut two of them back as far as he dare in an attempt to prevent them becoming diseased and dying.

"Is there some arty thing going on which requires use of bark strips?

"The stripped bark hasn't been left behind so the assumption is that someone has a use for it."

Anyone with information can get in touch with the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team via its Facebook page.