HISTORIC Newhailes estate at Musselburgh has been targeted by vandals again.

They left a recent trail of destruction in a the wooded area of Magdalene Woods and damaged a tractor in a secure compound.

Trees were chopped down, bark stripped off some of them and fires set at the base of trees, causing damage to their trunks.

A section of wall was also damaged and large holes dug out of the ground to build ramps which have been used as mountain bike tracks.

Part of the woods are now deemed dangerous and need remedial work to make safe.

East Lothian Police stated that this would have a further financial impact on the estate, which is run by conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland.

PC Kevin Hughes, of the Musselburgh Community Policing Team, has appealed for witnesses and pledged that patrols will continue to be made in the area.

READ MORE: Action plan to help New Forest cope with staycation invasion this summer

Help is requested from members of the public who walk in the estate to report any suspicious activity as soon as possible and anyone with information about the damage should contact the police

Last month, Newhailes fell prey to vandals, with disused storage buildings in the area of the old flower garden, which is closed off and secured, "considerably damaged". Whole roofs caved in and event props were destroyed.

A spokesperson for the National Trust for Scotland said that about half a dozen beech trees, about 50 years old, have had to be removed because of the damage.

She added: "We are very grateful to the police for their support as we continue to deal with ongoing vandalism around the estate.

"At a time when the team should be focusing on preparing for reopening, they are instead having to clean up after these distressing and dangerous incidents.

"We would ask anyone using the estate to please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access code and leave no trace. This will help our charity a great deal as we work towards welcoming visitors back in the next few months, something we are all looking forward to."

This story originally appeared in the East Lothian Courier.

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £75 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link: https://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/subscribe/

Thanks – and stay safe.