‘Drastic action has been taken to cut down shrubs and trees removing the habitat of birds’-Residents anger at Council.

Residents in Elm Park are furious at Havering Council for their brutal removal of shrubs on Southend Road believed to be the home to much wildlife.

It was just last week that Havering celebrated the news that our trees and wildlife were going to be saved from the axe of Network Rail. The community united to save our much loved trees and wildlife from facing destruction. Yet this week, residents have once again been left angered and shocked at the removal of more of our greenery.

Shrubs and bushes along Southend Road in Elm Park opposite St Albans school have now been totally removed following a cull by the council.

Locals used to looking out of the window at the shrubs, discovered that they had at first been drastically cut back and then completely removed after the council gardeners returned to remove what little was left.

Locals stated:

“I used to like looking out of the window and seeing the birds fly in and out of those bushes. We think there were 11 nests and hedgehogs living there.

“Now they are all gone. At first we saw the drastic cut back and then they even returned to remove what little was left!

“I spoke to the gardeners and they were very nice, they told us that they had been given the orders to remove the lot.”

Councillor Osman Dervish, Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“We recently cut back shrubs alongside Southend Road to remove overgrowing brambles. These plants were growing out onto the pavement and becoming a hazard for pedestrians.

“As with all pruning work, the area was checked for any nested wildlife before any cutting began. No animals were found to be nesting there – and bird nesting season runs from March until the end of August.”

In response Councillor Stephanie Nunn, ward councillor for the area, told the Havering Daily:

“As an alternative to regular pruning, drastic action has been taken to cut down shrubs and trees removing the habitat of birds and hedgehogs along South End Road opposite St Albans School.

“If regular maintenance had occurred the shrubs would not have been encroaching the pavement or acting as a permanent litter trap.

“The nesting season runs from February to August according to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and due care should be taken not only in this period, but just before and after to ensure that wildlife is not disturbed. A few days before the end of January was not an appropriate time to do this work. Is everything behind because of the so called Autumn Blitz? Residents want regular maintenance not a blitz on one area at a time at the expense of other areas.”

The shrubs as they were.
The first brutal cut back.
The end result.

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