An ivy bush which was more than a century old has been hacked down by vandals.
Police say the attack in Cropton took place sometime between September 19 and 21.
The ivy was well established and crawling up the trunk of three large ash trees situated on a public bridle path known as Low Lane which leads onto Cropton Bank.
PC Linda Coles, of Pickering Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Enquiries with local organisations responsible for this bridle way suggest that ivy is environmentally essential and would not have caused any damage to these trees.
“In fact, there are many environmental benefits provided by ivy including late season pollen for bees and insects, late winter berries used as food by birds, nesting and roosting habitat for wildlife.
“It’s important that members of the public are aware that the ivy would not damage the trees and that environmental damage to the park would be considerable should this type of activity become widespread.”
Anyone with information that could help the investigation should contact PC Linda Coles by calling 101 and selecting option 2. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, information can be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting reference 12130164868