Any help with the animal that might've done this would be apprecieated. The bark was stripped to a height of about 2m from ground. I'm guessing it might be a deer?
No interactions present.
I'd guess deer or squirrels for the general bark stripping but the more fresh attack looks more like a boy scout or someone else with a pocket knife cutting horizontal lines as well as the vertical damage. Unfortunately this human damage to trees either via blades or 'dangerous dogs' is becoming rather common in some areas (for example a local orchard here had many trees killed).
I think I agree with Miked. If this were deer the de-barked areas would be smooth as the deer are rubbing their antlers against the tree to remove the velvet.
If it were squirrels they usually ring bark the tree. Also you would see teeth marks.
The horizontal marks look like knife marks.
Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
Lat/Lng: 50.918339013108, -1.3302694559752
OS grid ref: SU471134