Our recent winter caused havoc for the UK residents, some more than others. Towns and villages were flooded, and the 100mph winds were a red hazard alert that put many people’s lives in danger. But it wasn’t just the severe weather conditions that caused the nation to come to a standstill, it was the trees too.
Last winter, 1,500 trees or branches fell onto 20,000 mile of network rail tracks across the UK, and unfortunately, 2.5 million trees that currently line the railways will be coming down, to help prevent transport delays and putting the lives of the passengers in danger. According to the Department for Transport, there were around 430 cases of trains colliding with trees or branches during the 2013/14 winter spell.
Network Rail already has a policy in place for the removal of trees. These include trees and bushes that are 10 to 16ft from the rail itself, but this depends on the overall line speed, as well as trees that are 11ft from the overhead power lines. And according Network Rail, tree trunks with a diameter of 5.9 inches are in a risk category. Of course, it would take a professional tree surgeon to safely and successfully remove these trees.
A Wildlife Trust spokesman said “Cutting down trees by railways can cause damage, such as where the mature woodland is established. The railway network can also be an important corridor for wildlife and clearance of trees along it should be part of a wider conservation plan. But in some places, removing trees could help boost wildflower grassland.”
We’ll just have to see what happens here, but if you feel that there is a tree in your local area that can potentially become a risk, then get in touch with our Manchester tree surgeon today.