OFFICIALS have explained to an upset householder that felling mature trees became necessary after inspections revealed they were in a dangerous condition.

Spital resident Peter Whittle called for the introduction of a borough-wide preservation order after oak, lime and beech trees were taken down in woodland at Poulton Road.

Mr Whittle said he understood the woodland is protected by a preservation order.

He claimed there was no public consultation about the felling, or any advance notice it would be going ahead.

The work was carried out by Wirral Council’s parks and countryside department. The local authority said that, although regrettable, it had been done in accordance with policy.

Mr Whittle, who lives nearby, said: "The council should be protecting our green environment - not allowing this unacceptable destruction to go ahead.

"I'm saddened by the loss of these mature trees that have been destroyed by the council, particularly that in this instance they were within an area of woodland supposedly 'protected' by a tree preservation order.

"Apparently, the council's parks service has not followed the due legal process of application, a process which their own planning department has responsibility for administering.

"The council's justification remains unclear to me."

Mark Smith, the authority's head of environment and regulation, said: "The council has a policy for the management of trees adjacent to neighbouring properties.

"The mature trees in question had been inspected and found to be dangerous, and permission to carry out the necessary work was obtained in May 2012.

"One of the trees which had been identified as a safety risk to neighbouring property was felled in 2012 and the remaining work to the other trees has now been carried out, in line with the permission.

"The trees were large and, unfortunately, felling them did result in damage to two smaller trees. It is regrettable when such work is required.

"However, due to the proximity to neighbouring properties it is not intended to plant any replacement trees."