AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into the clearing of a woodland area in Tullibody, it has been confirmed.

Police are looking into the matter following complaints from residents over winter.

It has been claimed that the trees had been removed from the area "without consent".

It is understood the area affected spans around 600sqm and is located between Auldkirk Road and Macalpine Court along the path.

Clacks West Councillor Darren Lee strongly condemned the destruction and said the clearing of the woodland, accessible via a path between Muirside Avenue and Wallace View, was "not acceptable".

It is unclear what, if any, damage was caused to wildlife, but according to one estimate, it could cost in the region of £30,000 to replant the area.

Cllr Lee, who had put the environment at the centre of his agenda when he stood in elections, explained he was contacted by dog walkers who frequent the area at the end of last year and urged the authorities to investigate the matter.

He said: "This has happened before on a small scale, so people are aware of it, people are obviously angry about it.

"When they had seen this, they were straight on the phone; they were vocal about the damage that had been done."

The councillor went around with some residents who highlighted the issue and said there was "substantial damage"

The Conservative representative added: "It now looks ridiculously untidy and just looks like it's been bombed."

A spokesman for Police Scotland told the Advertiser: "We received a complaint of the removal of a large area of trees without consent in a woodland between Auldkirk Road and Macalpine Court, Tullibody, during early December.

"Enquiries are ongoing into the matter and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal."