A DETERMINED headteacher turned detective to try to solve the mystery of the chopped-down trees.
But the Sherlock Holmes efforts of Trevor Fox have failed to find an answer to the puzzle at Lepton.
Mr Fox, his staff and pupils at Lepton C of E Junior, Infant and Nursery School were stunned when they returned after the Christmas holidays to find 70 trees chopped down in their school grounds.
And despite a number of calls to local residents and inquiries by the police, the mystery remains.
All the endangered black poplar trees, planted seven years ago as part of an environmental initiative, were sawn off at the base.
No-one had seen or heard anything.
But Mr Fox carried out door-to-door inquiries in the area, asking people if they had seen or heard anything.
He also made inquiries through the police and Kirklees Council.
Mr Fox said: "We found one person who saw two boys with a chainsaw walking close to the school and I passed that information to the police.
"It appears, though, that the trees were sawn down by hand rather than with a chainsaw.
"The council's tree experts have been up to see us and they are shocked. Their advice is to leave the stumps in the ground as the trees are quite vigorous and there will be new growth fairly quickly.
"The alternative is to replant new saplings, but then the land would be bare for a few years.
"We simply cannot understand why someone has done it. We never had any complaints from anyone near the school about the trees."
Pupils paid £1 each to plant one of the black poplar saplings, as part of the environmental plan for the school.
About 100 of the saplings were planted. The species was chosen specifically to help improve drainage on the school's football field.