RESIDENTS want their parish councillors replaced after trees were cut down leaving it looking “like a war zone”.

Families said they were disgusted when workmen appeared at the copse in Louie Memorial Fields and Copse in North Hinksey with chainsaws to prune the trees.

Residents said about 50 trees had been “attacked” leaving about 20 per cent of the area “blown apart”.

Now they have launched a leafleting campaign to homes to elect new councillors at a May election.

North Hinksey Parish Council said it was acting on advice from consultants to stop trees dying in the next 10 years.

But Robin Carr, 64, of Hurst Rise Road, said: “We would like to see them voted out at the next local elections and we would like to see a much more sympathetic policy introduced for the management of the copse.

“Originally the copse was an area you could go and forget you were in the middle of a town, but now you are in view of the houses and Hurst Rise Road. They have destroyed the privacy of the copse.”

Pauline Allen, 57, of Hurst Rise Road, North Hinksey, said: “It looked beautiful before and now it has been blown apart.

“ I had a baby fox in my garden to try to get out the way of a chainsaw. I’ve lived here for 30 years and never had a problem with the trees.

“The council hasn’t given us any information. There has been no warning or letter. They have just attacked it. I am totally disgusted.”

Stephen Elliott, chairman of the council’s recreation and amenities committee, said the plan was detailed in public council meetings and then in minutes, which are available to residents. He said: “Consultants reviewed the copse and fenland area and made suggestions. The advice we had is if we didn’t make some changes the area would die out.

“We have a management plan for the copse area and fenland. This involves the pollarding of a number of trees. It’s not pruning, it’s a bit more high duty.”

In 2006 families in Osney Island, West Oxford, lost a long battle to save 12 willow trees which lined the River Thames in East Street.

Council officials said it was a safety issue.