Network rail will fell 30 more trees in a Fareham priority habitat for wildlife between now and the end of March.
It is working behind people’s homes on Beaufort Avenue in Fareham to stop overgrown trees falling onto the railway, and has been felling other trees here since November last year. Winol has asked network rail the number of trees felled since November.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight wildlife trust (HIWWT) says some of these trees are over a hundred years-old, and that this is “severing a wildlife network”. HIWWT specialist Trevor Codlin said: “It’s appalling. There must be better ways of doing this. I suspect they’ve just gone for the cheapest option.”
Network Rail have been reviewed for excessive tree-felling in Bournemouth last year and received a temporary ban on “unessential de-vegetation,” said their spokesperson. He said: “Trees coming down on the line obviously causes a lot of problems. Rail safety is prioritised but we are wary about finding that balance between that and wildlife.”
Councillor Jan Warwick recently revealed that Winchester city council destroyed 250 trees in the last two years and planted only 20. Though fellow councillor Caroline Brook says this is inaccurate as many planting schemes done on behalf of the council are not included in the figures.
The government’s national policy planning framework (NPPF) expanded tree protections last year. Woodland trust have launched new education programs to ensure people know and follow the new policies, and say trees are “destroyed and damaged,” by planners and developers who do not apply the up-to-date policies.