Dozens of healthy trees felled near rail line

PUBLISHED: 12:25 15 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010

DOZENS of healthy trees have been felled near the Thameslink line in Park Street. Tammi Gustafson, whose land adjoins Hedges Farm by the railway line near the Park Street railway bridge, was told that 200 trees along the edge would have to be cut back by

DOZENS of healthy trees have been felled near the Thameslink line in Park Street.

Tammi Gustafson, whose land adjoins Hedges Farm by the railway line near the Park Street railway bridge, was told that 200 trees along the edge would have to be cut back by 10 metres.

She said: "I was told it was part of a nationwide policy to cut back trees along the railway banks. I agree with maintenance for safety reasons but why fell over 200 trees which is a mini-woodland?

"It's an important wildlife habitat. I have seen peasants, woodpeckers, finches, tits, sparrows, jays, owls, numerous more birds and butterflies as well as bats. The trees also act as our security, privacy and sound barrier."

A spokesperson for Network Rail said the trees had to be cut back for safety reasons.

He added: "Dozens of trees might be lost but nowhere near 200 - and not many of them are mature trees. The primary cause is safety because the trees might interfere with overhead power lines.

"Because the land is on a bend we have to cut back to a depth of 10 metres so that drivers' sight lines of signals are not obscured."

He said the wildlife habitat would not be lost because there would still be plenty of cover left and there was no intention to remove trees anywhere near properties so that people need not fear losing trees at the end of their gardens.

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