Network Rail rejects newspaper's claims of "secretive mass tree felling"

Network Rail has described as "factually incorrect and unbalanced" an article attacking its vegetation management policy on Sunday 29 April in the online edition of the Guardian newspaper.

Image: Elliot Brown
Image: Elliot Brown

"Millions of trees are at risk in a secretive nationwide felling operation launched by Network Rail to end the nuisance of leaves and branches falling on the line," the article said, blaming the upsurge on the rail manager's new national database of potentially problematic trees.

A Network Rail representative said: "We manage our lineside to provide healthy biodiversity advised by experts in the field. We do remove tress that are, or could be dangerous, or impact on the reliability of services that serve over 4.5m people every day.

"We make our policies in this area public, in an open and transparent way and work with environmental organisations to help us get it right when we do have to take action."

Its website explains that it clears all vegetation up to 7m from the track.

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