CALLS have been made for 1,000 newly-planted trees in a Pinehurst field to be pulled up.

Hreod Burna Urban Forest – led by chairman Steve Thompson – put the trees on land between Cricklade Road and Pinehurst Road in December.

But they were planted before full permission was granted by the parish council.

HBUF founding trustee Josie Lewis said: “It’s disgraceful Mr Thompson has done this.

“HBUF is breaching the terms of the lease. The land is public open space, which by definition is a sports ground or playing field.

“The trees were planted without permission,” Josie said.

“The lease restricts tree planting to areas marked green on the lease plan. The Cricklade Road field is not included.”

She added: “I’m a trustee of the group, and the role is to ensure the charity doesn’t break any laws. I’m trying to keep the group on the straight and narrow.

“The field should revert back to its original state, which is a recreational ground. But the damage has already been done,” she said.

Central Swindon North Parish Council leases the land from Swindon Borough Council and HBUF subleases it, running it on the parish council’s behalf.

Following a request to the parish council, HBUF was asked to consult land users and report the results.

Andy Reeves, parish clerk said: “We asked HBUF to come back to us with a plan because there are several public access rights and a gas main in the area, so it needed to be planned properly.”

Following a council meeting on December 18, all planting was halted. HBUF will now submit a tree plan at the meeting next week.

“The group got a bit overzealous with their timings,” said Mr Reeves.

Mr Thompson said: “I was a bit naughty and jumped the gun.

“The parish set the protocol for planting trees and we carried out the public consultation, but we were supposed to wait for the parish’s permission.

“But I, by mistake, went ahead, and then I got told off.”

Once the plan is submitted, he doesn’t anticipate more delays.

Steve said “Planting trees doesn’t stop it being open space. We’ve got no fences around it and the public can still walk their dogs.”