Campaigners are furious after a series of “vital” trees along a busy stretch of road were left damaged.

Residents from the group Save Lea Bridge Trees say two trees in Argall Way, Leyton, on a construction site close to Lea Bridge Station, have been fatally damaged.

Large chunks of bark has been stripped off both of the trees’ trunks and branches by unknown vandals.

This week, Save Lea Bridge Trees staged a protest at the site alongside community groups Markhouse and Lea Bridge Residents, London Wildlife Protection and Save Lea Marshes.

Rachel Barrat, 48, London Wildlife Protection Officer and Founder of Waltham Forest Animal Protection said: "Trees are of vital importance to wildlife in the area.

“They are a major source of oxygen, and the insects, birds and mammals rely on them for food and protection.

“It is essential that our trees are preserved and protected by developments and sustainably managed by Waltham Forest Council."

This is the second time this year campaigners have called for action over damage to trees in the Lea Bridge area this year.

In May, a petition was launched to prevent Aldi chopping down mature trees at its new Lea Bridge Road store in a bid to protect nesting birds.

The supermarket chain had previously chopped down seven trees at the site as part of redevelopment work, but pledged to replace them.

Claire Weiss, 69, of Save Lea Bridge Trees added: "Lea Bridge Road is highly polluted. The trees along it are vital to improving air quality.

“We are calling on Waltham Forest Council to redress the damage caused by the construction works, and to ensure that future building development will have proper safeguards for trees.

“We will be looking out for trees around Lea Bridge building sites and checking that no more will be needlessly damaged and left to die in this totally unacceptable way."

Waltham Forest Council has been contacted for comment.