OFF-ROAD drivers who desecrated an ancient burial mound in Wales' oldest ancient woodland have been condemned.

The tumulus, a Bronze Age burial mound in the forest, was turned into an unsightly bog by drivers who raced repeatedly up and down its slopes, carving up the ground.

Gwent Police are investigating the vandalism.

Rob Davies, the Coed Cadw Woodland Trust site manager for Wentwood Forest, called the vandalism "appalling" and said there had been similar damage to this type of monument in the past.

"A feature that is around 3,000-4,000 years old has been damaged within a few minutes," he said. "This is a Bronze Age burial mound, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and damaging it is therefore a criminal offence."

Mr Davies said he had reported the incident to the police, and he appealed for anyone with information, such as the registration numbers of any of the vehicles involved, to come forward.

“There has, unfortunately, been an on-going problem with damage to this and similar features within Wentwood," he said. "The trust has been spending around £1,500 a year to try to keep vehicles away from them, and following this damage, we will be undertaking further work.”

South Wales Argus: The vandalism has been called "appalling" by police. Picture: Gwent Police Rural Crime Team/Twitter.The vandalism has been called "appalling" by police. Picture: Gwent Police Rural Crime Team/Twitter.

A spokeswoman for Gwent Police said the force's Rural Crime Team was investigating the incident.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Rural Crime Team shared on social media an appeal for information, saying: "Investigating appalling damage caused to a  Bronze Age burial mound by off road vehicles. Immediate intervention measures being introduced to prevent further damage."

Anyone with any information should contact Gwent Police by calling 101, quoting reference number 20000006156. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.