TREES LINING the railroads at train stations from Wokingham to Reading are being being chopped down for safety measures.

The vegetation has been cut down after they were found to be causing leaf-fall issues on the tracks, leading to the train's brakes to be less effective and therefore potentially dangerous.

Network Rail claim that this is because many of the trees are infected with Ash Dieback, of which causes trees to shed their leaves more often than usual.

Deforestation was clearly seen at the Earley train station over the weekend, with heavy-duty equipment being used to fell the trees lining the tracks and moving the logs away from the rails.

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A Spokesperson for Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association said: "Network Rail is cutting back the vegetation on the trackside verges along the stretch of line between Wokingham and Reading stations.

"This work is necessary to ensure that leaf fall problems are minimised and that good sight-lines for crews working on the tracks can be established.

"WDVTA and the Reading Tree Wardens Group, wishing to ensure that damage to this habitat is kept to the minimum consistent with Network Rails’s aims, submitted written responses to NR’s plans.

"Jon Stokes, Director of Programmes for the Tree Council, provided an expert and independent opinion on how tree clearance or tree size reduction might be managed to preserve and maintain as much as possible of the tree habitat while ensuring that NR’s aims are achieved."

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Some residents have expressed concern for the effects the deforestation will have on those living nearby as well as the potential destruction of habitat, with one Facebook commenter saying: "The devastation of the railway embankment between Earley and Reading station is continuing today, it's so sad seeing healthy mature trees cut down.

"Network Rail have said they have carried out a wildlife survey and claim that the trees are diseased and no habitats will be damaged, both statements I dispute.

"Wykeham Road residents are going to be affected today as the workers are now at Church Road bridge and noise barriers (trees) will be gone and birds/animals displaced."

Network Rail has been cutting back trees along the railroad stretch between Wokingham and Reading since October 2019.