A COMPANY has been fined for illegally clearing 13 acres of woodland in St Paul’s Cray.

Bournewood Sand and Gravel was fined £8,000 for chopping down more than 100 trees in Sevenoaks Way.

The company pleaded guilty to two charges of illegally felling protected trees at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on February 20.

They were fined £4,000 for each offence and had to pay £4,933 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

News Shopper: Company fined for illegally felling 13 acres of protected woodland in St Paul's Cray

Portfolio holder for the environment Councillor Colin Smith said: “This was an act of environmental vandalism on a scale we have not seen in our borough before and hope never to see again.

“The landscape has been irreparably changed for at least a generation.

“We are now looking at options to make sure the company re-plants the area so trees once again become a welcome, visible feature on the skyline.”

The trees destroyed, some of which were more than 40 years old, were protected by tree preservation orders to stop them from being cut down or damaged without first obtaining consent from the council.

The felling took place on November 26, 27 and 29 despite the company being asked to stop on two occasions.