A NATIONAL park move to put a Tree Protection Order (TPO) in place following last month’s shocking unauthorised tree felling has been backed by Balloch and Haldane Community Council.

But applying the TPO now, AFTER more than 100 trees were hacked down, is a case of “shutting the door after the horse has bolted,” said one member.

According to a statement from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs park authority, the order would affect an area of larger woodland running between Loch Lomond Shores and Cameron House that is a “popular visitor area”.

With the proposed order currently in a six-week consultation period, Balloch and Haldane Community Council agreed at their monthly meeting last Wednesday “to accept the recommendation of the National Park,” to apply the TPO.

But some members expressed the sentiment that the TPO could be a little late in the making.

Secretary Jim Biddulph said: “It [the unauthorised tree felling] should never have happened.”

While community council member Jan Shields added: “It’s shutting the door after the horse has bolted.”

A police probe is still ongoing after the trees were chopped down on Saturday, March 17, with a “positive line of enquiry” being followed.

Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, said: “We will be managing the site under our responsibility to ensure it recovers as a woodland area as quickly as possible and we would expect initial growth from the living remnant tree stumps to be already visible following the coming growing season.”