EXCLUSIVE: David v Goliath-the battle to stop Network Rail massacring mature trees on much loved railway.


Local residents along the small Romford to Upminster line and the Romford to Gidea Park line come together to stop Network Rail from chopping down many mature trees.

The Romford to Upminster branch line is a small but much loved railway service that has been running since June 1893. It literally has three stops, Romford, Emerson Park and Upminster and is very well used by the Havering community to link it to inner city trains.

The line has many mature trees on its small journey that have been there for hundreds of years and are home to a whole eco system of wildlife. Now, Network Rail have marked these trees for destruction, despite what residents are saying there being alternative measures that do not need to have trees cut down.

The Romford to Gidea Park line also has many mature trees that run alongside the rail tracks.Jodie, whose house backs onto the line is angry and heartbroken at the thought of these trees literally being butchered for no reason. She told the Havering Daily:

“I am so upset, I fear hearing the noise of chain saws out there just chopping them all down. These trees are old and have so much wildlife living on them. There is no need to cut them, they are not a danger. It is shocking to know that during a time when it is widely known that we need to plant more trees, Network Rail is just going to chop trees down. This is going backwards. Also they are going to level the ground they said which means destroying vegetation by the use of Glyphosate that is dangerous not only to the planet but to our pets.

“These trees pre date our houses, I know before our houses were built here, it was all woodland. There are badger sets here and they are going to be levelled off. These trees really are a full eco system in themselves with birds, squirrels, bees, so much wildlife that will be ruined if they cut down all our trees.”

Jodie who is a trainee barrister and her partner also a barrister is angry at the approach the rail company are taking.

“They said it is not their policy to cut down trees, yet we have seen them butcher trees up and down the country.”

Jodie has written to all local councillors and Members of Parliament asking for help. Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of the Opposition is looking into this and Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has also contacted Network Rail.

One of the huge Oak trees marked for the chop.
A mature tree that is home to so much wildlife.
Network Rail’s massacre across east London

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