A Chesterfield couple received a hefty fine after allowing protected trees to be damaged at their home.
In a prosecution brought by Chesterfield Borough Council, Katie Leanne Buxton and Christopher Buxton, of Ringwood Meadows, Brimington, pleaded guilty to causing or permitting damage to a protected Maple tree and arranging the felling of another protected Maple tree from the rear garden area of their home.
Chesterfield magistrates' court heard how Mr Buxton met an unidentified man who claimed to be a tree expert and who agreed to take down the trees - which were protected by a Tree Preservation Order - for payment in cash.
The trees were on the site of Brimington's former Ringwood Centre, which was demolished to make way for the construction of 37 new homes and were protected as public amenity.
Magistrates ordered the couple to pay a fine and costs totalling £2,331.
Councillor Stuart Brittain, chair of Chesterfield Borough Council's planning committee, said: "We are committed to preserving trees and woodlands which are important to wildlife and are an amenity enjoyed by residents and visitors to the area.
"Landowners are made aware of Tree Preservation Orders and should abide by the rules.
"Where they flout those rules, as in this case, then we will prosecute."
Anyone wanting to carry out work to a protected tree should seek advice from the council's tree officer. For more information, visit www.chesterfield.gov.uk/tree-preservation-orders