Leaf it alone! Elizabeth Hurley's neighbors are fuming after the actress chopped down more than 20 trees on her English estate, but her team claims the toppling was necessary for safety purposes.
A rep for the actress said the 56-year-old beauty sought professional advice and obtained a license to chop down the trees from the Forestry Commission.
One upset resident told The Daily Mail, "The wood was full of ancient English oaks, and the undergrowth was full of wildlife including deer and badgers, and now many of the trees have been cut down and everything crushed to remove the logs. The noise has been non-stop for a week, while she's away on another holiday, and the remains of the wood now look like a battlefield."
Another livid neighbor said, "Logs are piling up close to the footpath. We'd rather the woodland had just been left for wildlife. The view of daffodils here in spring is marvelous."
Liz's 13-bedroom estate is surrounded by woodland. The home is also near several public footpaths, which residents and tourists use to watch animals.
The "Austin Powers" star's team insisted the trimming became necessary after a tree fell on a neighbor's property.
"Following a tree falling onto a neighbor's property from the wood, we took specialist advice from a qualified, tree safety specialist," the rep said. "After a thorough examination of the small parcel of mixed woodland, it was recommended that several trees alongside other neighboring properties needed to be felled for safety reasons. Within the wood there were several dead oaks that should also be removed to prevent any spread of infection to healthy trees."
The axing will leave the area in a better state for generations to come, the rep argued.
"[The tree specialist] subsequently reported that we should remove a few extra trees where they were affecting growth of neighboring trees and some ash that were affected by ash dieback disease," the rep said, noting the toppling was done after nesting birds have left. "Neighbors immediately neighboring the property were informed and one has opted to keep the resulting firewood. We received no objections."
"We have removed circa 21 trees and the money received, [about $7,000,] will be returned by replanting this winter and protecting the important and loved woodland for the future. There has been no bulldozing and minimum habitat damage," the rep continued. "We are happy that the operation has improved the health of the wood and we have secured the important habitat for the future."