South London residents have criticized “extreme” felling of bushes alongside the railway line with “horrible” noise from chainsaws

South London residents have criticized “excessive” felling of trees along the railway line with “terrible” noise from chainsaws

South London residents have described tree cutting along a nearby railway line as “extreme”, with the constant noise from the chainsaws being “terrible”. Matthew Shipp, 41, moved into his Hayes home with his family three and a half years ago.

The local resident said he noticed two weeks ago that trees were being felled from his and his neighbor’s gardens along the Hayes railway line. Mr. Shipp soon discovered that the work was being carried out by Network Rail in what he called the “Great Cleansing of the Earth”.

Mr Shipp told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “It seems overkill… They say it’s for the safe operation of the railroad, but a lot of these trees like the oak.” [at the end of my garden] have been there for 50 years. The railroad cannot have been unsafe for 50 years, at least not for the last 10 or 20 years when it was that big. It just feels like it’s being used as an excuse not to do the necessary paperwork.”

The Hayes resident said many of his Network Rail neighbors received a “blank” response when they raised the issue. He said that although other residents have said the work is being done for health and safety reasons, he does not recall being notified of the cut beforehand.

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Neighbors have complained that too many trees are being felled

He said: “We were upset. The first was that we didn’t receive a letter saying it was going to take place. I didn’t really ask Network Rail why we didn’t get a letter… The cynic in me says they didn’t because they knew it would be controversial.”

Mr Shipp said he agreed trees and shrubs along the railway line needed maintenance but felt the cutting by Network Rail was “serious”. He also said that the reduced number of trees at the end of his yard improved his home’s visibility from the railway line.

A before and after photo of the oak tree at the end of Mr Shipp’s garden(Image: Matthew Shipp)


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