Network Rail vegetation management

We have been notified that Network Rail will be carrying out vegetation work on the main line through our area.

The following message was sent to us. We have raised concerns about the likely impact on both residents views and wildlife, particularly as we are still in nesting season.

Vegetation management – Newton Hall

I’m writing to let you know that we will be working on vegetation alongside the railway around Newton Hall, to the north of Durham Station.

We need to remove trees and woody vegetation from either side of the track to a distance of 6.5 metres (21 feet). This is for the safety of our track workers and to provide a safe and reliable railway. We will also be removing or cutting back trees within striking distance of the railway if they were to fall.

We will be working until October 2021. Most of this work will be done during the daytime, but some work can only be done when the railway is closed at night for safety reasons. We will use a variety of equipment including chainsaws, chippers, flail machines and handsaws. Our team will monitor the amount of noise caused by this, and limit it where possible. We have written to our railside neighbours to let them know about this work. We’ll write a separate letter to residents when we will be working in their area by night to give them the dates, times and further information.

I recognise that the railway provides a natural wildlife corridor, but it must be carefully managed to keep the railway safe. Before we clear vegetation, an independent ecologist checks the area to see if any protected species are living there. If we find protected species, we put appropriate exclusion zones around them. Where suitable, logs and branches will be left on site, or chipped and spread across the site, to create habitats for wildlife. If this is not suitable, the logs and branches will be completely removed.

I hope this information is useful. Please contact me if you have any queries.

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