A 65-tonne crane made light work of removing large trees from the banks of the River Don in Sheffield.
The Environment Agency has spent the last few days removing around 50 willows from a 500-metre stretch of the waterway behind Hillsborough football stadium because some have become unstable and already toppled into the river, restricting flow and causing a flood risk.
The agency, which manages rivers and waterways, hired Chesterfield contractor Anderson Treecare to help with the project.
Work was carried out in November to avoid the bird nesting season. A crane was used to avoid disturbing trout which are spawning at this time of the year.
Jonathan Moxon, operations delivery technical specialist, said: “The trees presented quite a big risk because willows tend to crack and tumble into the water.
“Trees then get swept downstream and end up caught under bridges, blocking flow.
“The tree clearance was part of a larger project to reduce the risk of flooding.
“Whilst there is not a lot we can do about the amount of water flowing into the river at certain times, we can help the flow.”
He added: “Reducing the chance of blockages such as fallen trees could prevent the river flooding at certain locations.”
The work at Hillsborough is one of the last major tree cutting exercises on the river through north Sheffield.
In total, a two-kilometre stretch of river has been cleared, from the confluence with the River Loxley at Club Mill Road, going up to Beeley Wood, close to Winn Gardens, an area that was severely flooded in 2007.
The Environment Agency said it consulted with residents before the latest phase of the work.
It follows complaints about lack of information by residents in Malin Bridge, where many trees had already been felled.