Network Rail's destruction of trees at Drayton Park

Network Rail devastates trees growing beside the railways lines adjacent to the Emirates Stadium and Drayton Park station

In 2011 Network Rail began to take down mature trees on Drayton Park Sidings and, following public outcry, gave an undertaking that no future works would be conducted without prior consultation. Green corridors, of which this forms a part, are vital in areas such as ours with limited amounts of open space

However in 2012 Network Rail challenged the designation of the sidings as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), and followed this up by further work on the Drayton Park Sidings, without prior consultation

This was discussed at the Highbury West Ward Partnership meeting on 22 May 2012 when councillors said that they would ask officers to audit Network Rail’s compliance with undertakings given

Therefore, it came as a shock, but not a surprise, that over the weekend of 8-9 June Network Rail started taking down a broad swathe of trees and clearing undergrowth along the north side of the Emirates Stadium. Email traffic started immediately between residents, councillors and council officers, who all agreed that this disgraceful vandalism must end. Residents have also asked British Transport Police to investigate whether an offence has been committed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which protects nesting wild birds

On Wednesday 19 June a demonstration took place outside Network Rail’s Head Office in Kings Place and Councillor Richard Greening handed in a letter from the Leader of the Council to the Chief Executive of Network Rail calling for immediate cessation of the destructive works and for Network Rail to meet the council and local residents. Works have now stopped

We shall be working with other local organisations, councillors and council officers to follow this up on behalf of our members

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Highbury Community Association 2012-2016