A GOVERNMENT body has ordered the re-planting of trees along the shore of Windermere.

The Forestry Commission has served a restocking notice after trees were cut down next to the water.

The notice compels the individual to restock the land with trees.

Failure to comply will result in an enforcement notice being issued.

A local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, previously described the cutting down of trees on the shore of the lake as an ‘act of unspeakable vandalism’.

Images show how a section of trees next to the water have been felled over a period of time prompting reactions of ‘shock’ and ‘anger’ among residents.

The Forestry Commission said it would inspect the site to ensure that the conditions of the restocking notice have been met and added there was an additional investigation ongoing in relation to this case.

A local previously said: “The felling of the trees strikes us and indeed thousands of visitors to the Lake District who pass that section of the shoreline several times a day as an act of unspeakable ignorant vandalism.”

In the UK it is an offence to fell licensable trees without having obtained a licence or other valid permission. This can mean, on conviction, an unlimited fine.

Residents are also concerned about the impact on wildlife in the area as they say the felling of trees has caused the removal of habitat for many animals and birds.

A spokesperson for the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) said in December: “The felling of trees on this land is regulated by the Forestry Commission and not the Lake District National Park Authority.

“Since the trees were felled ground disturbance has occurred. We are investigating whether this is in breach of planning control, separate of the tree felling which the planning system does not control in this case and which is being looked into by other bodies.

“We take enforcement very seriously and will take action where and when necessary, hence we rank 21 out of 326 local planning authorities in England for the issuing of enforcement notices. We have had four successful prosecutions this year, with the most recent case resulting in fines and costs of £126,000 against those being prosecuted.

“This is in a context where national park authorities have experienced real term cuts over a number of years, and where most planning authorities in England are under real strain around staffing and resourcing.”

This story originally appeared in our sister title, the Mail.