A man has been arrested in connection with the felling of 250 trees at a beauty spot.

Police launched an investigation earlier this month after receiving a complaint from Hyndburn Borough Council that the trees had been cut down without permission at Heys Lane Community Woodland between January 4 and January 11.

The council said it had placed a tree preservation order on the woodland on January 8 following a spate of vandalism in the area.

Now police have confirmed that a 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Sgt Nigel Hindle, of the Hyndburn Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "A 44-year-old man from the Great Harwood area has been arrested and dealt with at Greenbank Police Station in connection with the recent felling of trees on Heys Lane, Great Harwood.

"The male has been released on bail with conditions to ensure there is no further damage to the area whilst the file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision.

"Hyndburn local policing team have worked closely with the council regarding this investigation and understand the effect such damage can have on the local wildlife and on the community and are working together to ensure the future protection of the area."

A Hyndburn Council spokesman said: "The woodland forms an extremely pleasant green corridor following the line of the old railway from Heys Lane to Whalley Road.

"The reason for the vandalism is unknown and extremely disappointing.

"The damage has caused considerable upset locally with a small area of the woodland suffering an extremely high loss of trees.

"Part of the woodland, which is home to a menagerie of different wildlife, has now effectively disappeared.

"There is an ongoing police investigation, which is being supported by the council to ensure that such damage is not repeated."

This story first appeared in the Lancashire Telegraph.