HEARTLESS vandals destroyed a memorial tree dedicated to a young father-of-two only two months after it was planted by his children.

Adam Ludlow died in September in 'tragic circumstances' and his family rallied to raise more than £3,000 to put a bench and cherry trees at Blagrave Recreation Ground in Tilehurst.

His mother Angela told the Chronicle how the seven and nine-year-old boys would often take picnics and sit on the the bench to 'spend time with daddy'.

The family was left devastated when they discovered one of the trees had been totally destroyed since their last visit.

Mrs Ludlow said: "These people have got to be shamed. It is a very important place for his two children.

"Luckily I spotted it before the boys, as they would have been devastated. A resident told me that it must have happened on Friday evening.

"We had to save up a lot of money to do this. He loved the park and he would often take his children to ride bikes.

Reading Chronicle:

"This was a memorial which meant so much to the family. What have these vandals achieved?"

The planting of the trees was supported by Reading Borough Council and a small gathering was held at the playing fields on December 1.

Mr Ludlow was only 37 when he died and members of his family and friends came together to pay their respects.

His mother added: "One of the trees was for my son and the other was for his grandparents. He was very close with his family and his death was very tragic.

"The council were extremely helpful, but we will have to pay to replace it because it is criminal damage."

A council spokesman said they will be in touch with the family in due course to replace the damaged tree.

They added: “We helped the family arrange a memorial last year through the council's park memorial tree scheme.

“We supported the family, including the children, to plant the trees in the park.

“Under these unfortunate circumstances we will be replacing the damaged tree.”