A CUSTOMER has accused Winchester Tesco of "wildlife vandalism".

Jeremy Cullen told the Chronicle that a display of White Helleborine Orchids in the store car park have been chopped down.

These two photos were taken within two weeks of each other.

Mr Cullen said: "I photographed this lovely display of White Helleborines in the car park in front of Winchester Tesco in Easton Lane.

"In total there were several hundred in the fenced area under the beech grove.

"On May 28 I visited Tesco and was horrified to see everything within the fenced area had been chopped down. All the orchids were gone – just as they were setting seed.

"Cutting the grass under the trees is completely unnecessary as it was only about 6 inches high and does not impact visibility for cars. Perhaps Tesco would like to explain this wildlife vandalism?"

A Tesco spokesperson has replied: “We always try to keep our car parks and the surrounding areas pleasant and well maintained and on this occasion it appears perhaps our maintenance contractors have been a little overeager when pruning the flowers, however we hope they will grow back as lovely as before as the seasons change.”