Derby

Firm 'illegally felled' protected trees at Haytop Country Park

Trees felled at Haytop Country Park
Image caption An eyewitness saw the trees being cut down and in some cases put through a wood chipping machine

A company has been served with a court injunction after protected trees were cut down at a caravan park in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire.

Amber Valley Borough Council visited Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell, on Friday, and told workers the trees were subject to Tree Preservation Orders.

However, despite being told to "stop immediately", the authority said workers cut down more over the weekend.

Countrywide Park Homes, which owns the site, has yet to comment.

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The Leicestershire-based firm bought the site, which has 60 pitches for touring and static caravans, in October.

Image caption Some residents have been staying in static caravans at the site for more than 25 years

It has since been undergoing renovation work due to safety concerns over "electrics and plumbing" which led to some residents being forced to leave the park, some of which had been there about 25 years.

Joe Green, who lives across the valley, said on Friday afternoon he could see caravans that were previously obscured by trees.

Knowing that many of them were protected, he reported the work to the local authority.

Image caption Joe Green said before the trees were chopped down he could not see the caravans

However, he said he saw workmen "feverishly" cutting down more trees with chainsaws and construction machinery on Saturday and Sunday.

Mr Green said he also saw bonfires and wood being put through chipping machines.

The injunction notice, served on Wednesday, informed the company that further illegal tree felling could result in prison sentences.

The BBC has made several attempts to contact Countrywide Park Homes for a comment.

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