A ROW of saplings on a green area were accidentally mowed down by council contractors.

The trees had been planted closer to the hedge line near Coronation Drive in Dalton to avoid damage.

But it is believed protective plastic and growing stake had been removed leading to contractors mowing the whole area.

A town community group said it was 'comical'.

The council has now promised it will be sorted as a ‘matter of priority’.

A council officer told Dalton Community Action Group a grounds maintenance contract manager had spoken to Continental Landscapes and the Woodland Trust and admitted the error.

“It appears that the protective plastic and growing stakes of the trees have been removed (possibly vandalism) and therefore the saplings would have just looked like herbaceous weeds to the contractor,” the officer said.

“Both the borough council and contractor apologise profusely for the error and I can confirm that the Borough Council has received assurances that the trees will be replaced and replanted as a matter of priority.”

The council admitted fault and have promised to replant the tree saplings that were destroyed.

Dave Taylor, of Dalton Community Action Group, said: “They have held their hands up to this.

“In their defence the plastic casing around the saplings had been ripped off and it would have been very hard for the contractor mowing to see them.

“It is quite comical really as the residents were moaning about this because the council had already moved them from where they were originally planted to closer to the hedge line.

“So, they planted them, moved them, then mowed them over.”

Ann Thomson, leader of Barrow Borough Council said: “We have apologised for this genuine error.

"The saplings will be replaced and replanted as a matter of priority.”

Not only would planting more trees help the borough council realise their greener future and carbon neutral ambitions, but woods and trees are good for local residents’ health and wellbeing as well, according to the Woodlands Trust.