A COMPANY that damaged a protected tree has been ordered by a court to pay more than £2,000.

D T Moore (Sales) Ltd of Quantocks, South Road, Brean, was prosecuted by Sedgemoor District Council following a tip off.

The tree, the subject of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), became unstable due to damage to its roots and the council says the only course of action is to cut it down.

The firm was fined £1,400 and ordered to pay £685 costs with a £140 victim surcharge. It has also pledged to plant a replacement tree in the forthcoming planting season, which lasts until March, according to the council.

A spokesman for the authority said the TPO was made on three trees in August 2008 when a mini-golf course was constructed at the property.

In July 2018, it was discovered the golf course had been removed and excavations were being carried out around the base of the trees. The area had been concreted over and a van placed on a hard standing by the road.