Community leaders have been left “in the dark” over the mysterious felling of a number of trees in a Paisley beauty spot.
Work is ongoing to identify who is responsible for clearing part of the woodland at Jenny’s Well Nature Reserve, located a short distance from Hawkhead Road.
The removal of the trees was first noticed by local residents on July 5 but, more than three weeks later, the situation is still puzzling those trying to get to the bottom of it.
Concerns have been raised about the potential impact on wildlife in the area, while assurances have been sought that whoever is behind the work has followed the correct process for doing so.
Councillor Will Mylet, who represents the area, said he hoped there was “a damned good answer” for chopping down the trees.
He said: “It’s a mystery. If it was an emergency I could understand, however, the council should still have been notified.
“If it’s not been an emergency, it’s absolutely atrocious that somebody has chopped down as many trees as they did during nesting season in a nature reserve.
“We’re now about three weeks on and we’re no closer to finding out what’s happened.
“The council officers are digging away as much as they can, but it seems to be a stab in the dark.
“Who do they contact next? Who could be doing this work? Nobody is taking responsibility for it.
“We’ve got no answers, no clue who has done it.
“It is a nature reserve and we are in nesting season. I’m hoping that there’s a damned good answer.”
Matthew Smith, chair of the Friends of Jenny’s Well group, said it had happened “out of the blue”.
He said: “It’s an area that’s about 60 or 70 metres long and two or three metres wide, so it’s like they’ve cut a corridor through some of the woodland.
“The reason why it’s raised questions for people is that it has been totally out of the blue.
“We try to manage the reserve quite sensitively. We have to keep the paths open but we do it with as minimum destruction as we possibly can.
“It’s bird nesting season, all the insects are doing their thing, so we try to have a light touch.
“It’s a bit shocking to see someone has gone in and totally destroyed a fairly big section.
“Sometimes work needs to be carried out for infrastructure, maintenance, that kind of thing — we get that.
“But we would just want some assurances that proper process was followed and if there’s any plans for whoever did it to mitigate it by perhaps planting some trees afterwards.
“We’re in the dark, totally.”
Councillor Mylet said Friends of Jenny’s Well had “worked extremely hard” to make the nature reserve a “delightful place to be”.
He added: “It would be a shame if their work is being undone.”
When contacted, a spokesperson for Renfrewshire Council said: “We are currently working with our partners to identify the reason for these works.”