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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Massive habitat destrcution planned by Network Rail - Finsbury Pk to Ally Pally (June to March next year)


Letters through the door today, Network Rail are going to be clearing the railway lines of 21 feet (6+metres and beyond) of trees/vegetation from next month to MARCH 2025 from Finbsury Pk to Ally Pally.

Be warned, this is going to decimate a corridor of nature habitat, wildlife, birds, insects, amphibians, smaller mammals, hedgehogs, fox homes, squirrels all along this mile or so stretch of line.

This is also in nesting season (March to August) and should be delayed!

Network rail doesn't have good form at ecology protection. https://community.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/b/martinharper/posts/good-new...

Please come to their PUBLIC MEETING on Thursday 6 June from 5-7pm at the YMCA Harringay Club in Hornsey (on the corner of  Ribblesdale Road).

There is also an online meeting on Tuesday 4th June on this link https://t.ly/PGMYG

Tags for Forum Posts: biodiversity, network rail, trees

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I too have received this letter.  It is surprisingly more considered (in relation to wild life etc) than ones I have received in the past.  I would suggest that any reaction to the letter should be couched in carefully considered language rather than outrage and horror.

My own garden is grossly overshadowed by trees on railway land although when I bought it in 1979 there were no trees at all.  The ones that are there today are far too tall for either safety or for screening the view and, as they are self-seeded sycamores, they cause me endless trouble as well as depriving me of daylight.  In so far as I have a beef about Network Rail's record it is that the present situation is the result of total (possibly benign) neglect rather than care for the environment or care for the "Railway Neighbours" such as myself that their letter is addressed to.  In my vicinity, all of the good things achieved by the "ecological corridor" with its tree cover would be achieved much better by planting a variety of sensibly chosen species that provide what wild life likes without growing so tall that it needs periodical drastic action to fix.  I suspect that Network Rail is only slowly adjusting to a long period of change.  In the days of steam trains, nothing was allowed to grow close to the tracks because of the fire risk.  Aerial photos from that era shows the railway land behind Wightman Road as completely bald. The current political emphasis on the need to protect and promote biodiversity seems to have widened Network Rail’s agenda somewhat beyond a simple obsession with safety of the railways.  I think any response should probably play to this new aspect.

The 'understanding' tone in their letter is to de-tooth any strong reaction, they have a lot of bad history of bad management and they know this. My post is to raise the alarm as complacency and passivity guides many reactions to this kind of corporate action.

I do hope you and others will come to the public meeting about this and attrend the online one. The fact they are having 2 meetings siganls this will be a to the ground clearance, not just some trimming.

Network rail do not have a good history of managing trackside habitat. For years they ignored it, the goverment realised they had no ecology plan and made them create one in about 2017, but they tend to come in to slash and burn. They are not going to plant anything new.

I hear what you are saying, but another view is as our summers heat up and droughts become the norm, you will be glad of the shade of your garden trees.

Great response! We're located on Wightman Road, and our entire garden is also completely overshadowed by the overgrown trees along the railway line. Proper management is definitely needed.

If by proper management you will mean every thing will be cleared, then you will be very happy, but expect to see no more trees or wildlife near your garden and to hear chainsaws until March next year. Also expect your garden to get very hot when temperatures hit 30-40 degrees in the coming years. We need nature, we are part of it. Urban nature is so important. Trees bring shade and coolness.

Are you really doing this again? Last year you objected to the the sensible clearance of the overgrown Parkland Walk with apparently no realisation that vegetation grows back. Guess, what? That's exactly what happened and now all is just as it was. Luckily for you most people forgot about your pointless protests. Nature always finds a way. Please just leave it alone now

Sarah, please don't hold back! Yes we certainly are. we never went away.

And PW is not as it was - it is severely diminished. Trees take decade to grow, sometimes centuries and their cabon value grows over time.  A graphic for you here.

On Parkland Walk over 180 trees were lost, trees bring habitat and canopy for birds. we need all levels of plant life, from trees to bramble.

This Network rail work - if it is going to do what it says - will destroy 4 miles of habitat, more than 36 football pitches of homes for animals, insects and birds. We can't get down to see what's there. We all need to write to our ward councillors.


Haha! Yes I can be forceful when I have a strong opinion. It wasn't meant to upset you so I hope it didn't.  I am certainly not debating the essential need for trees and their vital part in keeping cities healthy. But we have to be pragmatic. Sometimes it's necessary to cut back overgrowth. This is an unwinnable war . Better to campaign for residents to stop paving over their gardens or covering them with decking as this destroys alot of vegetation and wildlife as well as encouraging flooding.

I am doing a lot of campaigning - but our remit is trees and we can't do everything.

I woulld certainly encourage you and others to start your own biodiversity campaigns - paving over front gardens is a terrible problem indeed, for nature and flooding.

People need to get active.

Yes, this is really worrying, Giovanna. The language in the letter from Network Rail aims to manage our objections. Our neighbourhood has so few habitats left; jays and woodpeckers are clinging on in the scrubby trees along the tracks. Network Rail wants to clear the trees and shrubs that enable our unprotected wildlife to survive. Network Rail is not proposing to replace trackside habitat - there will be no new chosen species.

This is a clearance. We need to object. 

Is it sensible to join forces across the meetings and prep those attending physically on Thursday with some points and actions from the Tuesday meeting? I’m happy to do either or both… 

email me on haringeytreeprotectors@gmail.com



It's not what you want to hear, but this reads like an entirely reasonable and responsible letter, making appropriate commitments. If they deliver on this promise it's the best solution for everyone, no? It sounds like you aim to hold Network Rail to account on their promise, which is also excellent. Could this result in, imagine this, a corporation and residents working together to ensure the best outcomes for everyone? Or am I just naive? 



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