Trees have been destroyed at a pair of protected ancient woodland sites in Fife.
A number of trees at both Hopeward and Bogend Woods in Dalgety Bay, were cut down last weekend, leaving many locals dismayed.
The areas, which date back to the 1780s and are protected by a Fife Council tree preservation order, are situated along parts of the Fife coastal path, popular with walkers and tourists.
Dalgety Bay Community Woodland Group, whose volunteers maintain and enhance the area, are appealing to the public for information in a bid to stop any further damage.
A spokesman said the damage was particularly frustrating because of the amount of work being put into the area and the group is now preparing a report detailing the extent of the damage to be handed to police.
He said: “It’s very sad and nothing more than vandalism of a protected area of historic significance and natural beauty.
“At Hopeward Wood on the coastal path we found at least six trees which have been hacked down including three sycamore’s and an ash tree.
“It’s the second time that this area has been targeted and worryingly there is more damage this time than the damage caused in 2018.
“We are unsure if the two instances of damage are linked and we are now appealing for anyone who may have seen those responsible for the damage or acting suspiciously on last weekend, to get in touch.
“We urgently need to get usable evidence of those responsible in order to report the matter to the council and the police.
“Only if the culprits can be identified and action taken can more trees be saved from this kind of wanton destruction.”
SNP councillor David Barratt, said he was equally disappointed to learn of the damage and has urged those with information to come forward.
“The woodland areas are an asset for the community and there for everyone to enjoy so can understand the frustration that the destruction has caused locally.
“If identified, those responsible could be facing both a planning enforcement order as the area has protected status, and also the possibility of a criminal damage charge.
“I will be speaking to the police and the community council to see if anything can be done to further protect the areas from further destruction.”
Any one with information about the incidents is urged to contact the woodland group’s facebook page at www.Facebook.com/DBCWG or by emailing email@example.com