A 1,000-year-old tree in Ormiston has been vandalised.

Several carvings, which appear to be of initials, have been etched onto the branches and trunk of The Great Yew of Ormiston, which lies south of Ormiston Hall.

A concerned member of the public contacted the Courier to highlight the issue.

They said: "I was absolutely horrified to find that an important historic tree and local landmark has been vandalised.

"I have no idea when this happened as I haven’t been there for a while, but multiple initials have been carved into both main trees.

"The Yew is an important part of our East Lothian history and a place of significant emotional and spiritual importance for many locals.

"In many ways it is our ‘Sycamore Gap’ and I’m quite heartbroken that someone would have done this and wondering if the police have been informed.

READ MORE: Man arrested over Sycamore Gap felling to face no further action

"This is a criminal act which defaces, endangers and disrespects an important East Lothian site and will have caused much heartache to many locals."

The ancient tree is “held in high regard” by members of the Ormiston community according to the village’s community council chair, who was disappointed at the vandalism.

He said: “It is very disappointing to hear. The people of Ormiston are very proud of the tree, and it is held in quite high regard.

“We try our best to discourage people from going to close to it to avoid this sort of thing happening. It is very unfortunate.

“This is the first I have heard of it being vandalised before and I hope it doesn’t happen again.”

The tree is situated on private land and was shortlisted for Scotland’s Tree of the Year contest, run by the Woodland Trust in 2020.

However, it was withdrawn from the competition by the landowner whom the trust said gave reasons not to draw attention to the tree – which has 'health issues' which could be exacerbated by more visitors seeking it out.

The Sycamore Gap tree was a sycamore tree standing next to Hadrian's Wall in Northumberlandand was one of the most photographed trees in the country.

The tree won the 2016 England Tree of the Year award.

It was felled in September last year in what the authorities described as an act of vandalism. The felling of the tree led to an outpouring of anger and sadness.