Fears for nesting birds in trees that were seen being chopped down by Buckinghamshire Council contractors have been quashed - although the work has now been delayed until later in the year.

Member of the public Simon Robinson said he was "shocked" to see tree work "aggressively" being carried out near Funges Meadow in High Wycombe on May 4 even though it was nesting season.

He said the tree had a crow's nest in the canopy and asked Buckinghamshire Council to explain itself, saying the work should instead have been carried out in the winter when birds are not nesting there.

Chiltern Rangers and Mr Robinson both emailed the authority expressing their views over the work.

The Bucks Free Press asked Buckinghamshire Council why they were carrying out the work and a spokesman confirmed it is in connection with the construction of a controversial new footpath and cycleway.

Part of the old railway track from London Road to Bassetsbury Lane is being turned into a new path for walkers and cyclists after plans were given the go-ahead in March despite opposition.

Regular users of the area criticised the plans, which were put forward by Wycombe District Council, saying it is already a “natural oasis” that does not need to be “sanitised”.

However, the cycle path was a requirement as part of their go-ahead to build new park homes on the former Bassetsbury allotment site.

Buckinghamshire Council cabinet member for environment and climate change Bill Chapple OBE said the "selected" tree work was part of preparations to create the new footpath and cycleway along the old railway line route.

He said: “Our contractor was fully aware of their responsibilities regarding nesting birds and carried out all required monitoring beforehand and also during these works.

"While there was no disturbance or damaged nests found, we have agreed to delay this work until later in the year.”