MINDLESS vandals have hacked the bark off a tree in Malling Recreation Ground, Lewes.
The tree suffered has substantial damage and is unlikely to survive.
Around five feet of bark was peeled from the base of the Sorbus tree by vandals at some point during the weekend of April 25-26
Lewes District Council, which manages Mailling Rec, is appealing for witnesses to come forward to try to track down the culprits.
The damaged was discovered by Lewes District Council Parks' Wardens during routine inspections.
A spokesperson for the district council said: 'The tree is unlikely to survive the attack.
'Bark provides vital protection as well has transport water and nutrients from the roots to the canopy leaves.
'The situation will be monitored and the tree removed if necessary. The space will be replanted in the autumn if required.'
Cllr Merlin Milner, former mayor of Lewes and the town council's current lead member for tourism and the environment, said the attack was 'wanton vandalism'.
He told the Express: 'It's very sad.
'The amount of bark which has been taken off is quite substantial and I don't think it's going to be able to repair itself.
'It's just wanton vandalism of a nice young tree and I hope they catch the culprits and get them to do some sort of Community Service to do something constructive in the area and help them to understand the value of wildlife and trees.'
Lewes District Council is appealing for anyone with information about the incident to call 01273 484999 or email email@example.com