Sparks flew when power workers felled around 30 trees by mistake on the edge of a Lancashire nature reserve.
Now National Grid has issued a public apology and agreed to make amends for its chainsaw massacre in woodland near Lostock Hall.
“A mistake has been made which has led to trees being removed in error and we are sorry for this,” said a company spokesperson.
“We are investigating how this mistake came to be made. We have now agreed a programme with the council in the area around the reserve.”
Tree cutters went to work on a strip of land on the edge of the Preston Junction reserve in preparation for a new housing development planned for an adjacent plot. National Grid originally owned the woodland strip, but it had been transferred to Lancashire County Council to become part of the nature reserve. Workmen were unaware of the switch and started removing the goat willow trees to build a boundary fence.
Tim Blythe, LCC countryside service manager, said: “Some trees have been removed in error by contractors for National Grid who were building a fence to mark the boundary of land which is due to be developed.
“As part of the development, National Grid has agreed to transfer some wooded land on this boundary to the county council so that it can become part of the existing nature reserve.
“The trees which were removed were along this strip of land as the fence was originally built in the wrong place. However we expect the woodland to regenerate quite quickly. National Grid has agreed to carry out some maintenance of the nearby cycleway in compensation.”