Anger as mature trees were felled along Nottinghamshire rail route

Trees overlooked new houses in Brownsmill Way, Wollaton

People who live near a railway line say they are shocked after mature trees are felled by Network Rail.

The firm has cleared trees along a seven-mile stretch of track between Mansfield and Trowell in Nottinghamshire.

A resident who lives in a new housing estate near Wollaton tracks told the BBC she cried when she saw a row of trees “falling like dominoes”.

Network Rail said the work was necessary for track safety.

The company laid out its plans for the job in documents as the new homes were being built.

He said the letters were later sent to homeowners in June but admitted some residents may not have received various communications as the development was still ongoing.

Images of a felled tree on Brownsmill Way, Wollaton, Nottingham

Ms Whittaker said the mature trees provided a “huge noise barrier” from passing trains

Resident Anna Whittaker said she returned home on Sunday after a weekend to see the trees behind her garden fence “falling like dominoes”.

“We could hear the noise of the chainsaws and the trees fell one by one,” he said.

“I actually started crying because I love these trees.”

The local reporter added that the trees provided a “huge noise barrier” from passing trains.

Claudia Mondini and her husband Fabricio Tabuchuk

Claudia Mondini said she and husband Fabricio Tabuchuk felt ‘very spoken’ as trees were being cut down

Another resident, Claudia Mondini, said she too cried when she saw the felled trees, adding that until Sunday, squirrels were regular visitors to their garden.

“I feel very told,” she said.

“When we bought this house, we bought it because we have a beautiful environment here.

“Now, we don’t know if we mean here…because they just cut them all out.”

Neighbor Katherine Creasey said: “Couldn’t it have been done in a less destructive way? Should all those beautiful trees have been cleared or could they have been pruned a little more carefully?”

Daniel and Katherine Creasey with son Henry

Katherine Creasey said the trees should have been pruned rather than cut down entirely

Catherine Nuttgens, urban program manager at The Woodland Trust, said: ‘The trees, shrubs and plants that grow on the railway tracks provide nets for nature.

“Obviously safety has to be a priority, but biodiversity is also very important.

“What we would like to see from Network Rail where possible is to maintain mature trees… [which] it can’t really be replaced by small trees.”

In 2018, an independent review recommended that Network Rail avoid large-scale logging in favor of careful management to protect green corridors.

View from a back garden in Brownsmill Way, Wollaton, Nottingham

Ms Mondini said they could move home because the trees are gone

Tara Scott, East Midlands infrastructure director at Network Rail, said the work was designed to “keep the railway running safely and reliably”.

“We are really sorry this has upset some residents,” he said.

“Overgrown trees can make it difficult for drivers to see signals clearly, blow down the line during thunderstorms, or cause a slippery buildup of leaves on the tracks in the fall.

“To avoid this, we cut down all trees within 6.5 meters of the tracks and then prune or cut trees beyond that.”

Ms Scott added that the company will “replant smaller, more sustainable trees and create a habitat for wildlife” in the area.

Night works are expected to continue on the railway line until March.

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