Watch: Terrifying moment masked man takes axe to bird feeders in Ilford, east London

"It's crazy. He was just running around with an axe."
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Video shows the moment hooded man takes an axe to bird feeders.

The subject of the attack was a tree in a communal area outside a block of flats in Ilford, east London.

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Residents were horrified when they looked outside and witnessed a man in a tracksuit hacking it down with an axe - for five hours, they claim.

Video shows him swinging at the branches - and pulling bird feeders and decorations from the branches, and hurling them into a bin or stamping on them.

Baffled locals said they had no idea what prompted the man's anger.

One neighbour, who filmed the destruction, said: "It's crazy. He was just running around with an axe.

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"He said the council told him to do it, which isn't true, but who is going to challenge him while he's there swinging his axe? Clarion, who own the estate, had just been and tidied up the tree a few weeks earlier.

"All the neighbours are really upset and it's pretty scary too. It was a lovely tree and we all took real good care of it. We're all gutted."

He said the tree and square of grass it sat in, was the only pocket of nature on the estate and residents would decorate it at Christmas.

Video shows a masked man hacking at bird feeders in a tree in east London.Video shows a masked man hacking at bird feeders in a tree in east London.
Video shows a masked man hacking at bird feeders in a tree in east London.

He said the tree provided a privacy screen for some neighbours who are overlooked by windows from properties opposite.

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"We used to look out at the tree and birds flying all around it but now we can just see buildings," he said.

"I'm sure he didn't like the little trinkets because he spent a lot of time smashing them up. It's really sad. We all loved that tree and we can't get it back."

The axe man chopped the tree on February 14.

A Clarion spokesperson said: “Our local neighborhood team was alerted to a man cutting a tree on the Bracken Court estate in Ilford on the afternoon of Wednesday February 14.

“After it was established that this was not a Clarion planned work, we inspected the area and found the remains of the tree were a hazard. To make the area safe we completely removed the tree. "

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A Metropolitan police spokesperson said: "This has been recorded as an allegation of criminal damage and officers have made an appointment to visit the person who made the report to obtain further details."

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