A vandalised oak tree was discovered to have been attempted to be set alight once again.

Park rangers at Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve on Grange Farm, Chigwell spotted the tree on Saturday, April 6, whilst on morning patrol.

The lower part of the oak tree which is estimated to be 250-300 years, is completely burnt from the fire placed within the roots.

A statement published on Essex Wildlife Trust Roding Valley Nature Reserve’s Facebook page said: “We’re very sad to say that over the weekend one of our team noticed this veteran Oak tree had been vandalised and set on fire.

“We know that this particular Oak tree was on a historical map from 1870, meaning that is was already a well-established feature of the River Roding landscape.

“Our team have done their best to try and deter further vandalism at short notice by wrapping barbed wire over the hollow.

“However as a charity we have limited resources and we are not able to be everywhere at once to keep watch.”

The Trust added: “We want to protect our natural heritage and keep the reserve safe for the public to enjoy.

The charity has asked residents who see anti-social behaviour within the grounds to contact the police.

Essex Police and Roding Valley Meadows Nature reserve have been contacted for comment.