CONCERNS have been raised after a large swathe of woodland was chopped down in the space of a few hours.
Scores of trees were chopped down in woodland off Anson Grove, Portchester.
Local residents spoke of their shock after returning home from work to discover that a large area of the woods had been cleared.
They were angry as they had received no notification of the work on the land, which is home to badgers and foxes and popular with walkers.
The work is believed to have been carried out during the day last Friday, but residents said they did not see contractors.
The News has found out the wood-clearing was carried out by Scottish and Southern Electric.
Residents were concerned about loss of wildlife, as well as more noise as the woodland acts as a barrier between houses and the M27.
Fiona Prophett, 34, of Anson Grove, said: ‘We went off to work on Friday morning, got back and the neighbours said “have you seen this?”.
‘We went up there and they have cleared about a football pitch of woodland and bushes. It’s a massive area.
‘We are all very concerned because none of us has been notified. We just don’t know what’s going on.
‘It’s just the shock of it. It was there and suddenly it’s not.’
She added: ‘We have been here 18 months and it was just nice to able to look out of your window and see trees. Even if it was legitimate, we should have been informed.’
Portchester councillor Chris Brown said: ‘There’s a lot of wildlife around there and it should be conserved. I am a bit concerned about what’s going on in this area and it’s also the noise pollution for local residents.
‘It’s bad enough as it is for people living next to the motorway.’
Samantha O’Connor, from Scottish and Southern, said the work was part of a £122m maintenance and upgrading programme to the supply system.
She said local landowners had been told about the works and added: ‘To carry out this work it is essential that our engineers clear away any hedgerow, bushes obstructing the equipment.
‘This new investment work will mean our network is even more robust and if there is a power cut, supplies in the area will be restored more quickly to customers.’