Trees next to the railway line were destroyed two weeks ago (Credit: Marian Gutteridge)
Two weeks ago, nearly 2,000 residents signed a petition calling for the railway company to stop the “environmental destruction” after they started felling 100-year-old trees.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell, Councillor Bob Perry and several other politicians convinced Network Rail to temporarily stop the work and revise their plans.
Mr Rosindell invited representatives from the company to a meeting yesterday where they promised no more than 40 trees would be felled. They had initially planned to cut down 600 trees.
“So far, it was confirmed to me today that only 17 trees have so far been identified as ‘dangerous, dead or diseased’ which are the three categories in which trees will be felled, although we have the assurance that the final number will be no more than 40,” said Mr Rosindell.
“I am glad that the community have put politics aside and come together to really make a change and save our trees, this is so important in keeping Havering a ‘Town and Country Borough’ and keeping a wonderful green lung running through Romford.
“Residents value having trees, greenery and vegetation in their community so I am thrilled that Network Rail has reconsidered their works programmes thanks to constructive meetings with residents, local representatives and myself, therefore saving around 540 trees.
“It is a real victory for the community that we have successfully negotiated with Network Rail to reduce the number of trees marked to be felled from 600 down to a maximum of 40.”
Network Rail has committed to working to re-plant some of the trees away from the railway where they cannot be a safety concern.
Mr Rosindell also suggested they create a communal garden on some of their disused land which could include public benches and wildflowers.
“This would be especially welcomed in the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and it would be brilliant to get Network Rail involved in school and other community projects, including tree planting,” he added.
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