Obscene graffiti spray painted on a tree at a community orchard has been described as 'soul destroying' by volunteers who look after the site.

Police are appealing for information as they investigate criminal damage at the orchard behind St Mary's Church, South Street, Bridport.

Yobs used black aerosol paint to daub unsightly graffiti on the trunk of an ash tree in the wildlife area.

A spokesman for the site's management committee said “This is quite soul destroying for the local community, and in particular for the many volunteers who put in countless hours of their own time to keep the orchard in good condition and for it to be an attractive place for everybody, young and old, to visit at any time.

"This graffiti will be offensive to many members of the public who often bring young children into the wildlife area to enjoy nature and the wildlife pond.”

A spokesman for Bridport police said: "The exact timing of the damage to the tree is not known but may have been sometime on Sunday, October 4."

If you have information regarding this incident, contact police on the 101 non-emergency number or online at www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online quoting occurrence number 55200151179.

Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

* The orchard's Apple Day didn't happen this month due to coronavirus restrictions, but members have been selling their delicious apple juice at the farmers' market. Supporters say for the first year ever the orchard has been totally self sufficient in the supply of its own organically grown apples that have been pressed into bottled juice.