POLICE and a leading councillor have blasted vandals who snapped in half a tree at one of the Borders most popular tourist attractions.
The Pyrus Williams pear tree was damaged sometime before Sunday, January 13 in the gardens of Mary Queen of Scots House in Jedburgh.
Councillor David Paterson, executive member for environmental services, said: “It is simply unacceptable for this kind of vandalism to take place here in the Borders.
“The council invests a great deal of time and money across the Borders to ensure our towns and villages remain attractive places to visit.
“This particular tree actually cost over £100 to replace and during a time where we are already faced with considerable financial challenges - these types of incidents just do not help.”
Inspector Carol Wood described the incident as a mindless act of vandalism and added: “I would ask that anyone who can assist with identifying the culprit to contact their local police station.”
A tree was previously damaged in the gardens of the 16th century house in 2007.
Mary is believed to have stayed in the fortified house in 1566 after visiting her secret lover James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell, at Hermitage.
She was executed in 1587 after being found guilty of plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth.