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Author Topic: More excessive habitat control - especially during nesting season??  (Read 2911 times)
grahame
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« on: May 02, 2019, 10:16:47 am »

From the Gazette and Herald

Quote
VILLAGERS in Crofton are furious after the sound of chainsaws blared out last week, desecrating a nearby wildlife habitat which they claim was home to kingfishers as well as other wild birds and mammals.

"It's an environmental disaster," protestor Emma Brown said. "This is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it's like deforestation, it's totally wrong."

Network Rail were behind the clearance work, which has razed scrub and trees on the railway embankment between the London mainline and the Kennet and Avon Canal to the ground.

"They've absolutely decimated the embankment, it was full of birdlife nesting, there was a kingfisher there which we have not seen since," Mrs Brown said. "I have lived here for five years, it's such a beautiful area and I and all my neighbours are so upset."

She contacted Network Rail to complain about the works, to be told they were planned maintenance needed to keep the railway track safe from falling trees and leaves, and that the eight-metre splay for cutting was a standard width worked to nationwide.

"It is absolutely the worst and wrong time of year to be cutting down hedgerows and trees as far as the nesting birds are concerned," she said. "It is an natural habitat environmental strip which is not accessed by humans or dogs so therefore perfect for wildlife as totally undisturbed.

"The cutting has been done on the downward slope of the embankment where gravity will dictate that trees etc will fall in to the canal, not fly upwards on to the railway lines. If the embankment sloped on to the railway line it would clearly be another matter."
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2019, 12:36:03 pm »

At least she didn't call it "ancient woodland..."  Roll Eyes
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2019, 12:49:22 pm »

I don't know about the Crofton area specifically, but along the bit of the B&H that I know quite well there has been clearance on a large scale.

As an example, this is very noticeable when looking east from the up platform at Hungerford. Also at Froxfield (between Bedwyn and Hungerford), a lot more of the railway is visible from the A4 than it was a few months ago.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 03:22:12 pm »

Perhaps there getting ready for electrification...... Roll Eyes
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2019, 07:23:36 pm »

I suspect in reality it's catching up with over 40 years worth of neglect after regular lineside trimming was stopped in the early 1970s.

Well that and the fact they're getting fed up with having their nice new green paint scraped off by overhanging branches Wink
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Celestial
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2019, 07:52:38 pm »

It looks like a narrow strip close to the railway, so if it was too close I'm not sure what could be done.  And they seems to have made a neat job.  I do wonder how many pictures of a group of protestors in front of a bit of weeding is needed to illustrate the point though.
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Lee
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2019, 08:17:51 pm »

It looks like a narrow strip close to the railway, so if it was too close I'm not sure what could be done.  And they seems to have made a neat job.  I do wonder how many pictures of a group of protestors in front of a bit of weeding is needed to illustrate the point though.

Perhaps they should try a celebrity endorsement:

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Celestial
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2019, 08:38:26 pm »

Goodness, I didn't realise they used to have on-train signalling in the old days.
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hoover50
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2019, 09:53:16 am »

It looks like a narrow strip close to the railway, so if it was too close I'm not sure what could be done.

What could (and should) have been done was to cut back the vegetation outside of bird nesting season. Another example of poor planing by Notwork Fail
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2019, 12:23:20 pm »

Most vegetation removal is done outside of nesting season, and I believe there are rules NR have to follow regarding that.  With many thousands of miles of lineside to keep clear, itís not just something that can be done at the same time each year.  After years of not getting on top of the problem, there are signs NR are catching up - witness the very few problems of poor rail adhesion last autumn at places which had been recently treated such as the north Cotswold line.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2019, 03:30:58 pm »

Most vegetation removal is done outside of nesting season, and I believe there are rules NR have to follow regarding that........ 

I thought it was illegal to disturb nesting birds? My Scout Group 'inherited' a large Dove Cote back in the early 1990s, which we were not allowed to touch. Over the years, the wood became rotten and it was in danger of falling over. As the birds were becoming a menace, we wanted to remove it on safety grounds, but were advised by the RSPB that we were not allowed to do anything whilst there were eggs in the cote. 
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chuffed
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2019, 06:25:08 pm »

I often thought that nesting birds were a feature of Professor  David Bellamy's beard....... Huh
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2019, 11:42:56 am »

I often thought that nesting birds were a feature of Professor  David Bellamy's beard....... Huh

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as I feared!ó
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard.

Edward Lear - Public Domain
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