Discussion Forum
Network Rail treefelling - again

From Richard Hopewell and Elsie P Smith
Saturday, 5 July 2008

For information for those who may have been missed from Network Rail's questionable letter delivery service on Friday 4th. NR intend to move back to our area on Sunday 13th and Tuesday 15th - Friday 18th July to cut more trees. According to their latest letter, they will join the line at Hallroyd Junction (not sure where that is) but no mention is made as to which direction they will be going or how far either.

The usual panoply of chainsaws, chippers etc etc will be used, so we can guess that they are not intending doing some light branch lopping. If anyone has any information, please share it. The Community Relations Manager was "away from her desk" when I tried to contact her today (now there's a surprise!)

From Andrew Hall
Sunday, 6 July 2008

I am pleased at the way the cut embankments are regenerating, and allowing many more species that the serried ranks of sycamores and silver birch that formerly dominated.

This really is a non-issue.

From Tim N
Sunday, 6 July 2008

It may be a non issue for you Andrew - but alot of people seem quite upset by it

From Andrew Hall
Sunday, 6 July 2008

I agree, Tim, but the reasons the 'upset' people give seem spurious.

Most of the arguments are concerned with nesting birds. Well, the vast majority of birds have now nested, reared their young, and have no plans to procreate until next spring. Now is a good time to clear the embankments and cuttings of trees. There's plenty of woodland adjacent to the track where they can relocate next year.

Other arguments revolve round the needless cutting down of trees, But in truth, the vast majority of trees on embankments are self-seeded sycamores and silver birch, totally unmanaged and therefore crowded, thin, spindly and very poor examples of the species. They are not old enough to develop holes, nooks and crannies for bats. They really are worthless.

Right at the start of this debate, someone said, in an attempt to oppose the embankment clearing, "Whatever you do make a noise and involve as many people as possible - let a thousand flowers bloom" . Ironic really, as in the areas that Network Rail have cleared, that's exactly what's happening! Rather than the canopy trees that existed before, blocking out sunlight from the ground below, we now have open areas where, already, a multitude of different flora are thriving. Network Rail's embankment clearing is, albeit unwittingly and unintentionally, leading to a far greater bio-diversity than ever existed before.

I honestly think that the net effect of Network Rail's actions are almost certainly beneficial to the ecology, and given that there are safety advantages in not having lineside foliage, I can only repeat what I have previously said. This is a non-issue.

From Dave H
Monday, 7 July 2008


Your sphere of expertise never fails to disappoint - now it's ornithology.

As a bird watcher, recorder, surveyor, volunteer, active conservationist, and bird ringer of a mere 35 years, my knowledge is nothing in comparison. However, I do know that birds produce two and often three broods of chicks right through the summer months and into the early Autumn. You clearly have other insider info, as you knowledgably state the birds have "... no plans to procreate until next spring." Dr Doolittle I assume?

By felling before October nests would without doubt be destroyed.

Allow me to share an often quoted story that for me illustrates why we need to strive to save each nest, even though on a global scale it will not change the course of history.

A man found thousands of jelly fish stranded on the beach after the tide had gone out. He started to pick the jelly fish up one by one and place them back in the water. Another man who was passing by told the first man that he was wasting his time as there were simply too many jelly fish trapped on the beach for the first man to make a real difference. As the first man continued to return jelly fish back into the water he replied, “made a difference to that one . . . . made a difference to that one . . . . made a difference to that one...”.

A non-issue???

From Rachel Whitwell
Wednesday, 9 July 2008

I can understand that we dont want birds and other nature being affected by the tree felling. So agree that the felling should be done at a time when it doesnt affect the breeding.

Birds can obviously build another once the young uns have flown the nest!

I live above Luddendenfoot and have a view of the valley towards Mytholmroyd / Hebden Bridge. There are a huge amount of trees along the valley so felling a few I imagine is not going to make a huge difference.

I always notice that we seem to have more trees in the UK than anywhere else I've ever been to.

I've noticed along the road where I live that some trees are getting so massive that the roots are pushing walls over - surely to help preserve roads / drystone walls / other flora and fauna we should be actively encouraging sympathetic tree felling?

Just think there were none there when they were all chopped down for the war effort!

From Tim N
Wednesday, 9 July 2008

From Calderdales Biodiversity Action Plan 2003 to 2010;

"Because Calderdale is a hilly area with the main communication routes through narrow steep-sided valleys, there is an overall misconception that the district is well wooded. In fact, the opposite is true with only 3% of Calderdale being tree-covered - well below the national average.

This places great importance on the woods we do have."

In addition I understand the UK has a far lower percentage tree cover than many other European countries.

On the plus side 21% of our woodlands have some form of protection (SSSI or National Nature Reserve etc.) Ref:-A Global Overview of Forest Conservation, World Conservation Monitoring Centre and Cenre for International Forestry Research.

See also

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