Police Hunt ‘Phantom Lumberjack’ Who ‘Massacres’ Trees At Night

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 09 Apr 2021 09:19
Police Hunt 'Phantom Lumberjack' Who 'Massacres' Trees At NightSWNS/RawPixel

Police in Surrey are on the hunt for a so-called ‘phantom lumberjack’ who is secretly chopping down trees in the middle of the night.

The mystery wood cutter has been striking down trees in some of the country’s most picturesque beauty spots, such as along the River Thames.


Locals are growing understandably frustrated at the bizarre incidents, which have occurred as many as 30 times within the past 10 days, and have even set up a Facebook group called the Elmbridge Tree Patrol to report further tree massacres.

Police Hunt 'Phantom Lumberjack' Who 'Massacres' Trees At NightSWNS

According to the Guardian, a local resident wrote in the group, ‘As you all know, there’s a maniac going around Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames and Cobham, chopping down trees, ruining the environment, ecosystems, habitats and making everyone upset’, alongside pictures of the stumps and debris, which once resembled trees.

The motive behind the so-called ‘chainsaw massacre’ remains unknown, with the culprit seemingly aiming for healthy trees at nightfall.


A number of officials have since come forward in a bid to deter the night time tree surgeon and stop whoever it was from the mindless acts of vandalism within the local community.

‘I do not underestimate the impact this mindless damage has on the local community, as well as the risk it has posed to motorists by obstructing roads. We are looking at every opportunity to identify who is responsible for this,’ said Inspector Bert Dean, the Elmbridge borough commander.

Meanwhile, both Elmbridge Borough Council and Surrey Police have issued a joint statement in which they confirmed that reports of chopped-down trees first occurred on March 28, in the Cowey Sale area of Walton-on-Thames.


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‘Since that time, Surrey Police and Elmbridge Borough Council have identified at least 20 other instances of trees being cut down in Walton and Weybridge,’ the statement continued.

‘We would like to reassure the local community that we are following up all relevant information and the investigation remains ongoing. Patrols will also be carried out in the areas which have been targeted.’

Locals say there are plenty of woodland areas where someone would be able to go and source wood from if they were desperate, however all the trees that have been struck down are in public places on the river bank, suggesting it has been done intentionally – for whatever reason.

The hunt for the phantom lumberjack continues.


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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing on to UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Now, trees


  1. Guardian

    ‘Chainsaw massacre’: Surrey police hunt for phantom lumberjack