The first of the poplar trees to be felled to make way for the new pedestrian and cycle bridge have fallen.
Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering – working for Reading Borough Council – started preparatory work on the Christchurch Meadows site on Monday last week.
To allow access to the construction site, seven Lombardy poplars have been removed and will be replaced later.
According to the council, the row of poplars is around 30 years old and the trees, nearing the end of their safe life, are susceptible to disease.
Three trees fell during strong winds last winter.
The council has already held discussions with Caversham Globe, the Save Christchurch Meadows group and Reading Tree Wardens about replacing these trees with new Lombardy poplars.
The new pedestrian and cycle bridge will be a landmark structure providing a direct route from the town centre and across the Thames for pedestrians and cyclists.
The shared pedestrian and cycle bridge will be located to the east of Fry’s Island, between the Caversham and Reading Bridges.
On the northern side it will link to the existing paths running through Christchurch Meadows and in the south it will connect to Norman Place and Vastern Road.
When complete, it will be approximately 120m long, with a 68m span over the River Thames.
The bridge is expected to be completed early next summer.