A TREE care company has been ordered to pay £1,450 after damaging a Grayshott silver birch protected by a Tree Preservation order.

Green Frontiers Garden Care in Headley, was contracted to remove a dead tree at a property in Kingswood Firs.

But the company set about taking down the wrong tree – removing around a third of the canopy before the mistake was spotted.

East Hampshire District Council’s arboriculture team brought the prosecution, saying the damage had caused ‘large wounds’ to the protected tree and had left it vulnerable to fungal decay and other diseases.

The company pleaded guilty on August 22 at Basingstoke Magistrates Court.

It was ordered to pay £1,450, including a £700 fine, a £70 victim surcharge and £680 as a costs contribution.

Council team manager Jamie Gargett said: “We take environmental protection very seriously. Any contravention will be investigated.” and prosecuted if appropriate.”