Monday, March 23, 2009

Network Rail: The Killing Fields

While I have been revelling in the Spring flowers around Bath, destruction has been taking place on the railway embankments here. My walks have been accompanied by the constant whine of power-saws cutting down every single tree on the embankments and every shrub- beautiful, healthy Ashes, Sycamores and many more varieties, cut down for no good reason. Apparently, this is a "blanket policy" of Network Rail, who own the land.

Being concerned for the disturbed wildlife, I spoke to an RSPB representative who confirmed that bird's nesting habits would be severely effected. He said that unfortunately Network Rail according to present laws are not doing anything illegal. If one actually found proof of nests being destroyed, that would be an offence. Apart from the environmental issues- including possible erosion of the embankments- he also pointed out how the tracks, without the protection of trees and undergrowth, would be much more accessible and dangerous to children, animals and vandals.

Yet again I find it hard to understand how- when everyone is so aware of our environmental crisis- people can still ignore the value of trees and cut them down regardless. And one knows full-well that money is their only reason for this short-sighted action- possibly because Network Rail think it is more cost-effective to cut down the trees rather than trim them when necessary?

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