Last summer Network Rail carried out "vegetation management work" on the railway line behind my house. They completely felled and poisoned the stumps of many beautiful mature trees (at least 60 within a couple of hundred metres) and countless smaller shrubs, plus flailing the undergrowth). Before, we had fantastic birdlife in the area (including jays, woodpeckers and red kites) and the railway line was used as a bat corridor. Most of the birds have vanished, as have the bats. This is all being done in the name of safety. At a meeting with Network Rail's Chief Executive, it is their stated aim to continue this work up and down the country, from Land's End to John O'Groats. By their own estimates this is some 2.5 million mature trees. To my amazement this policy is being aided and abetted by the Tree Council! My question is: is the loss of 2.5 million trees, plus innumerable smaller trees, shrubs and wildlife habitats going to have a detrimental effect on the ecology and climate of the UK (greenhouse gases/global warming) and is there any legislation to prevent the mass felling? Thank you.

Q1: Will the loss of 2.5 million trees...have a detrimental effect on the ecology and climate of the UK. Difficult to say - one instinctively assumes yes but for the UK as whole (as compared to the local effect which clearly is significant) possibly not, since it would represent a small percentage of the total tree population.

Q2: Is there any legislation to prevent the mass felling. This is a biology website and thus this question is outside the scope of our remit. One assumes NR would have looked at the legality before they started, so the onus would be upon you to find a legal avenue to ask for a review of this with an injunction in the interim.