A GROUP of environmental activists have fought back against a development in the West End by replacing trees felled by property bosses.

‘Rebels’ from Extinction Rebellion sneaked in the site on Otago Lane overnight, Monday into Tuesday, planting a total of 52 trees.

The 27-strong group say they were replacing the plant life removed along the area’s wildlife corridor as part of the housing development.

Works carried out in February reportedly wiped out as much of a third of the ecological site, which is home to herons, bats, foxes, and otters.

READ MORE: Otago Lane residents hit out at developers over clearance of wildlife corridor

Activist Cheyenne Loana, 23, said: “Otago Lane is such a tranquil oasis in the middle of a busy city, and the community vibe is being robbed from these people by a greedy company.

“It broke my heart when they took down those trees, there are wood chippers in my nightmares. Planting these trees will help the healing process.”

In response to the actions, developers Queensberry Properties have confirmed the group have been reported to the police. 

A spokesperson added: “Whereas we acknowledge that whoever planted these saplings considered their actions to be well intentioned, the fact is they were trespassing on our land and in doing so, were carrying out illegal activity which also included the vandalising of our site hoarding.

READ MORE: Otago Lane: Campaigners slam developers after work restarts on site

"Under these unfortunate circumstances, we have had no option but to report this incident to the police.

"The saplings have now been removed and will be carefully re-potted in other locations.”

The trees in question had been donated to the cause from various sources. Some were planted holding signs with slogans such as ‘they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our treedom’.

READ MORE: Otago Lane: Plans revealed for flats in Glasgow's West End

Conservationist David Carruth, 26, added: “These trees have been transplanted from locations all over Glasgow and beyond from areas where they would have been cleared anyway.

“As they come together in this place so do the extended environmental community here in Glasgow with a clear message written in green that enough is enough.”

The issue, which has been ongoing for more than 10 years, centres around concerns about the environmental and local impact of the building of new flats on Otago Lane.

Local campaigners first opposed large-scale residential development on the site in August 2009.

Since then, ten subsequent planning applications for the site have been withdrawn.

Read more of today's top Glasgow stories. 

Earlier this year Extinction Rebellion protestors halted the felling of trees on the green corridor when work was about to begin to clear the Otago Lane site.

Despite a Temporary Stop Notice being put in place for one month, clearing of the greenbelt continued in February.

The latest plans, lodged in February, would see 49 flats erected as part of a seven-storey residential block.