UK: Vandalism in the Urban forest

“I arrived home to find a mature oak that already had been pruned back
for the fence had been felled. Why? They cannot say this is not
vandalism. “Of course it could be that these trees have a commercial
value and if so who benefits?” said mr Matthews, who says any profit
made from the cut timber should be pumped into providing more habitat
for the wildlife that has been dislodged by the removal of the trees.
Network Rail contractors are currently putting up a new safety fence
to stop people getting onto the Romsey to Eastleigh railway line.

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Mr Matthews says egrets, owls and tree creepers and foxes live in the
woodland near the railway track. “It would be a disaster to see them
disappear,” he commented. He contacted Test Valley’s Romsey Tadburn
ward councillor, Mark Cooper, about the felling work and asked him to
investigate. Mr Cooper, who contacted the borough’s tree officers
about the felling work, said he discovered that Network Rail had a
way-leave giving them the right to fell a tree if it was deemed
dangerous or obstructive. He added that the fencing contractor has
made a “real mess” of the footpath and borough council officers would
make sure any damage to authority-owned property would be rectified by
the contractor. A resident from Hestia Close is also angry with
contractors. The woman, who did not wish to be named, said the
footpath in the Hestia Close and Jenner Way had been made “completely
impassable”. “There’s mud and other debris and flooding. 0The footpath
has been destroyed where they have been using dumper trucks on it.”
She also queried whether there was a need for the contractors to have
accessed borough council-owned land to carry out some of the work.

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