Tree felling in Lacock causes wildlife fears

by | Feb 11, 2015 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Residents of Lacock fear their wildlife is under threat from Network Rail, which is cutting down vegetation next to the track in Corsham Road.

Hedgehogs, rabbits and birds are among animals people feel are at risk. A number of ancient oak trees have been chopped down to their trunks.

Pat Wright, 70, has lived in Corsham Road for nearly 40 years and walks her three dogs in the field next to the track.

She said: “When they took the first tree down, I couldn’t believe it. What they have cut down is irreplaceable.

“They haven’t done it with any sympathy to wildlife at all and I am extremely concerned. The reason they say they are doing this is because of the leaves. Every tree has leaves.”

Neighbour Lisa Culshaw, 43, has also criticised the company for not consulting residents about plant management plans.

She said: “I understand lines have to be improved, I just think it’s a shame they didn’t get the local community involved.

“Nobody has come to us to ask our opinion and I think that is shocking. We live less than a mile away, we are disrupted by it and it is churning up the road.

“They are taking away local heritage and wildlife, but what are they doing to put something back? We could have all worked together, but they need to start talking to people before they start thrashing the wildlife.”

Network Rail said all line-side residents were made aware via a letter and, as the trees are on the company’s land, it does not have to carry out a consultation. It has done an ecological survey and consulted English Heritage.

A spokesman said: “Managing, and on occasion, removing trees and vegetation close to the railway line is essential for the safety of our passengers and the wider public and to ensure the reliable running of the railway.”