A woman looking after more than 20 animals says she is annoyed with the council for allegedly backing out on paying for fences destroyed during the removal of diseased trees.

Wiltshire Council has refused to pay for repairs after causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to 87-year-old Marjorie Burston's boundary fence, she claims.

The fence has been severely damaged by the felling of Mrs Burston’s trees, which the council cut down to prevent a potential hazard to road users on the A420 in North Wraxall.

The trees were allowed to fall into the fence, causing it to collapse in several places and she claims council workers assured her they would pay for the damage in August.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

“It looks awful compared to how it did before, and they won’t help me with it," she said.

“In the beginning, they said they were going to help me and then at the last minute they said they weren’t going to.

“To leave it like that is disgraceful, it is an eyesore. I’m 87, I live on my own, I’ve got 29 rescued animals and I haven’t got four or five thousand pounds to fix the fence."

She has also been left with the cost of the tree removal, amounting to £1,250, which she is paying in instalments.

Mrs Burston has lived at the property for 44 years and has recently suffered a fractured femur and glaucoma which prevent her from driving.

She says the stress of the unexpected bill, combined with the damage to the fence, has been difficult to cope with.

She claims that council workers bullied and took advantage of her.

She added: “I dwell on it… this is making me feel quite ill. I really feel that they have done the dirty on me.”

After being approached for comment the council say they will look into the matter again.

Councillor Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “When there are diseased trees next to a public highway, they must be removed to ensure the safety of all road users.

"It is not something we do lightly but in this instance it was necessary.

“We did all we could to reduce the final cost, including reducing the scope of work and setting up a two-year payment plan that she agreed to in writing and has paid the first instalment for.

“We strongly refute any allegations of bullying – our officers have been extremely sympathetic and have looked to support her in any possible way throughout the process.

“Our officers will be visiting Mrs Burston to inspect the fence, and if it has been damaged by the tree felling work, we will look to cover the cost of its repair.”