The large number of Cypress and lemon trees cut down in the Paphos village of Mandria were done so with the permission of the forestry department, the village’s mukhtar Kypros Michaelides said on Tuesday.

Michaelides explained that the estimated 100 to 120 trees were located in a private plot and covered an area of around 300 metres.

He added that a must be obtained from the government before any Cypress trees are planted or cut down, and that if a permit is not obtained, the act incurs a “heavy penalty”.

In addition, he said that local authorities have no say in the planting or cutting down of trees on private plots and added “when the forestry department gives its approval, no one can do anything”.

The forestry department’s George Constantinou said there are cases when permission is not given because the reasons given to cut trees down are not valid.

He added that the forestry department always recommends that trees are not cut down unless there are “important reasons”, such as the tree presenting a danger.