‘Chainsaw carnage’ as tree-chopping begins on Dartford to London rail line

by | Jun 9, 2015 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Bexley residents living near a train line are ‘fuming’ after rail workers chopped down trees behind their houses, leaving “carnage”.

Clare Strickland, whose house backs onto the London to Dartford line, was shocked when Network Rail workers armed with chainsaws first started removing trees.

The 47-year-old is concerned about an abundance of wildlife including birds, bees, foxes, badgers, mice, snakes, frogs and toads, which she believes is now homeless.

Glenhurst Avenue resident Ms Strickland said: “We got a letter a month-and-a-half ago saying they were trimming the trees back.

“They have lied, because in no way did it state that they were felling trees.”

Ms Strickland, who is disabled and does not work, witnessed “a massive influx of chainsaws” on Monday, May 25.

Workers in orange suits demolished an entire street of trees in one day, leaving just two at the bottom of Ms Strickland’s garden, after she pointed out birds’ nests.

She added: “We know the animals are there because occasionally my cats would bring in a live snake or a live shrew.

“The amount of debris the workers have left, they have buried fox dens below them and it’s really frustrating.
“Network Rail’s report says they found a dead badger on the railway line but no badger sets, did it drop out of an airplane then?

“The trees have been there over 50 years.”

Ms Strickland said many of the demolished trees were protected oak trees, and workers cited cost cutting as one factor behind the move.

Ms Strickland added: “That’s what made me angry, and it’s not just me.

“It’s further up the railway as well. People are absolutely fuming.”

Residents also say they have experienced increased train noise and reduced privacy since the trees were felled.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “The works between Bexley and Albany Park are being undertaken by Avondale.

“The noise notification letter delivered to residents in the area on April 8, informing them of the upcoming works.

“This letter was delivered to 1-147 Glenhurst Avenue and other addresses.

“Pre-work ecology site appraisals of the area were conducted.

“Daily pre-works bird nesting surveys for our team took place during the period May 18-29, 2015.”