Bristol

Probe after railway bank trees felled in Bristol

Trees at Montpelier station
Image caption Network rail disputes claims by one local resident that they had given permission for the trees to be felled

An investigation is under way after trees were cut down on a railway embankment in Bristol without the permission of Network Rail.

The vegetation was removed behind houses on Cromwell Road in Montpelier, Bristol, the Bristol Post reported.

The trees were on an embankment opposite Montpelier railway station.

"Safety is our priority and nobody is permitted to access the railway unless they have the proper permission," Network Rail said.

Resident Cecilia Farring said she had been campaigning for 20 years for the trees to be removed.

She said she had "finally" got permission for the work, but this is something Network Rail has denied.

She said the firm told her it would send a list of approved tree surgeons but never did, "so we organised for registered tree surgeons to do it".

"There's been no light in our garden. I've lived here for 37 years and there were no trees when I moved in," she added, saying sycamores have grown and it had got "worse and worse".

Image caption Locals say they worry wildlife has been disrupted by the felling

Network Rail insisted it had not given permission for the work and added it would be investigating.

A resident on the other side of the track, Alistair Wardle, claimed Network Rail have been "thinning the trees out" for years.

Mr Wardle said he is now worried about the wildlife in the area.

"It's like complete deforestation. Usually when you thin trees out you take the big trees out and leave the little saplings to grow and keep the ecosystem going.

"We don't know what damage it's done to wildlife underneath, where the trees have fallen," he said.

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