More than a hundred trees have been ripped from the ground along the Lewes to Ringmer cycleway. In three separate incidents, nearly 150 trees have been torn from the ground and fencing damaged in the process.
In the latest theft 45 trees were taken and fencing along the route cut to enable the vandals to gain access. This follows incidents over the two previous weekends in which hornbeam, rowan and field maple trees were taken.
“It is hugely disappointing that the hard work by council staff and contractors to create an attractive cycle route for the residents of East Sussex and visitors to our county has been destroyed by mindless thieves,” said Mark Valleley from East Sussex County Council, whose team was involved in designing and implementing the cycleway. “As well as ruining the aesthetics of the route, these thefts are hitting the taxpayer in the pocket. Furthermore, the way in which the trees have been ripped from the ground means those responsible have probably killed them in the process.”
The trees were planted as part of the project to create a safe, off-road transport link for use by pedestrians and cyclists between Lewes and Ringer and open up access to the South Downs National Park.
In a bid to prevent further damage and catch the culprits, residents are being urged to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour and report it to Sussex Police.
Anyone who has witnessed suspicious behaviour along the route, which runs alongside the B2192, or has been offered or sees similar trees for sale, can contact Sussex Police on 101 or email email@example.com
Police are investigating the death of a girl at a house in Ditchling.
The unnamed girl from Lewes was discovered in Ditchling after paramedics were called to South Street on Friday morning.
She had been found collapsed by a friend and was declared dead at the scene. Sussex Police say they are treating the death as unexplained.
Ten years ago, the Hunting Act made it illegal to hunt foxes with hounds across England and Wales. Many said the Act would destroy a countryside way of life. But from the turnout at Boxing Day trail hunts across the South East, it seems the tradition is far from dead.
David Johns reports, speaking to spectators, hunt protestor Marina Pepper and Jonathan, a huntsman.
A piece of artwork created by prisoners at HMP Lewes has been put up in Rochester Cathedral.
The structure, which is a depiction of a scene from a prison, was installed ahead of a special Prisons Week Service held this afternoon.
Rt Rev James Langstaff, the Bishop of Rochester, explains what the service and the artwork are meant to reflect:
A huge Alex Salmond has made an appearance at County Hall ahead of tonight's prestigious bonfire celebration in Lewes.
It is thought to be one of the biggest bonfire night celebration in the world, where bonfire societies parade through narrow streets of the town.
This year Alex Salmond, Scotland's fourth First Minister, will be the centrepiece of the festivities.
Norman Baker has quit as a Home Office minister, complaining that working under Home Secretary Theresa May was like "walking through mud".
The Liberal Democrat MP accused the Tory Cabinet minister of viewing her coalition colleagues as "a cuckoo in the nest rather than part of government".
His decision comes days after he became embroiled in a fresh disagreement over drugs policy and accused the Tories of suppressing a report which backed his case for a review of the current law.