Detective Constable Aaron Flint of Grantham is seeking information about the damage being caused to Ancaster Valley - a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Branches have been cut from trees, some of which are hundreds of years old, and rubbish, including tyres, wood, and other items, have been dumped at the site.
Officers believe this has happened sometime during the last two weeks.
The area in question is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to intentionally or recklessly damage a SSSI. The penalty for this offence up until 2015 was a fine of up to £20,000, but this has now been changed giving the courts the power to give an unlimited fine.
DC Flint said: “These sites are extremely fragile and highly vulnerable to damage. We will be working closely with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust to identify the offenders and bring them to justice. This is not only a mindless and selfish act of vandalism but also serious crime against our environment.
“We take all reports of wildlife crime very seriously. We would encourage anyone who has been in this area in the last two weeks and may have any information, not matter how irrelevant you may feel it is, to contact us on 101.”
Rachel Shaw, spokesman for Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, added: “This is a senseless act of vandalism to a wonderful nature reserve. It’s also a drain on our resources as it’s likely to be costly to remove, and, most concerning of all, the damage to the trees and shrubs will have a long term impact.
“A number of trees have had branches removed and bark damage that may affect their survival. The shrubs that have been damaged are box. Box is very slow growing and unfortunately some of the stems cut and damaged are over 100 years old, so will take a long time to regenerate.”
This narrow, steep-sided valley is covered with limestone grassland, scrub and woodland. It is one of the finest sites for limestone flowers in the county. Recorded species include the rare and beautiful pasqueflower, bee and fragrant orchids, dyer’s greenweed, dropwort, spring cinquefoil, rock-rose, spring-sedge and many others.
A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is an area that is of particular interest to science due to the presence of rare species of fauna and flora, important geological or physiological features. These areas are of very high conservation value, and need to be protected.
DC Flint is asking for anyone who may have information about this offence to contact 101 or Crimestoppers quoting number 21000263099 or by emailing him directly at [email protected]