A Perthshire hotel has assured locals that no birds were harmed during an attempt to cut back invasive ivy growing along the front of the building.
Workers were tasked with trimming the evergreen creeping plant from the entrance of the Station Hotel in Comrie, amid fears it was causing widespread damage to the centuries-old property.
But during the operation, the sheer weight of the ivy caused it to fall from the wall and crash to the ground. The collapse sparked fears for sparrows which roosted at the hotel.
Villagers raised concerns that the birds, which are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, could be lost to the area.
Hotel manager Teresa Milsom, however, stressed that the sparrows were unharmed and have already been spotted back at the venue.
“We’re absolutely devastated by what has happened but, thankfully, no sparrows appear to have been harmed,” she said.
“When the ivy came down, we didn’t find any nests and there certainly didn’t seem to be any eggs.
“I know a lot of people in the village are very upset about this but the sparrows are still here, I’m glad to say.”
The Station Hotel, which dates back to the 18th Century and was visited by Queen Victoria, is well known for its ivy.
Ms Milsom said: “The ivy was starting to become a real issue for us. It was growing into the building and starting to loosen tiles.
One resident who raised concerns about the nest said: “The birds have been a feature of village life and many of the people here have become attached to them.”
RSPB Scotland say it is a crime to harm a sparrow or an active nest intentionally.