“It looks like a bombsite,” says a Tidworth councillor, after finding out that 418 trees will be felled in Tidworth, Perham Down and Bulford.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) will start a tree felling programme to deal with the dead, diseased or dangerous trees that require the chop.

Within the garrison area, saplings have been identified with Ash disease.

Work is planned to commence from June 22, 2020 and will take two months to complete.

All areas will be assessed for the presence of wildlife and protected species prior to work starting.

The contractors undertaking the work have conducted a risk assessment which is compliant with PHE guidelines in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Mark Connolly told the Advertiser: “It is a necessary evil. It is a concern for wildlife and looks like a bombsite.

“When MoD felled trees three years ago under the planning application, the state said the trees should not have been cut down.

“I had to take action with Wiltshire Council.”

The cllr said people are “touchy” with trees as it “changes the landscape” and “affects wildlife”.

He said that ash and oak trees take approximately 20 to 30 years to grow.

“MoD will put in saplings which will take a very long time to replace.

“Most people accept that if trees have disease they will have to go but a few are concerned.

“Not all trees will be lost but it looks completely different six months ago.

“They were fully matured woodlands but now the patches look bare.

“MoD will be clearing it up and replanting. Areas of woodland look destroyed because of the earlier work.”

The Advertiser has contacted MoD for comment.