Racist graffiti left on signs at a beauty spot has been condemned and labelled 'disgusting'. 

Vile messages were painted onto signs at the Magnolia Park and Nature Reserve in Hawkwell, which included anti-black and anti-Pakistani comments. 

One of the messages included a racial slur and another stated ‘race traitor.’

The graffiti was discovered at the weekend and Rochford Council says action has been taken to remove it.

Councillors have been quick to state their horror at the messages, which they said were not common for the area.

Dave Sperring, environment boss at Rochford Council, said the messages had “no place” in the area and urged the public to contact the police if they had information on who the culprits were.

Echo: Dave Sperring said the messages had "no place" in the area Dave Sperring said the messages had "no place" in the area

He said: “This type of disgusting and racist graffiti has no place on our streets or in our district.

“I would urge anyone who sees this type of vandalism to contact our customer service team immediately so we can deal with it.”

Meanwhile Julie Gooding, councillor for Hawkwell West, added: “Everybody is appalled.

"We don’t expect it and we haven’t seen it before.

“We’re not going to tolerate it, it’s as simple as that.

"We will make sure its reported and removed as soon as physically possible.

"Hate crime is not tolerated in Hawkwell or Hockley, it’s a no go.”

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In response to the complaints from residents Rochford Council said they would be taking steps to avoid a similar incident in the future.

A spokesman for the council said work had already taken place to remove the messaging yesterday and were working with others to make sure the area would not be vulnerable to graffiti again.   

They said: “We have spoken to Cadent, which is responsible for the street furniture covered in the offensive graffiti.

"They are sending one of their team to remove it today and also working on a long-term solution to ensure this spot cannot be used for graffiti in the future.

“If anyone sees offensive material daubed on the streets of our community, please contact our customer service team immediately.”

To report hate crimes or anti-social behaviour to Essex Police, visit: bit.ly/3ykyi93.