Vegetation on West Highland Line

Network Rail launch trial to improve biodiversity on West Highland Line

Network Rail is set to begin work to improve lineside biodiversity on the West Highland Line between Craigendoran and Helensburgh Upper.

The work will see the removal of trees and vegetation on the line as part of a new trial project.

The area is set to be replanted with native trees and shrubs once the felling and removal of trees is complete.

If successful the trial will help Network Rail meet its targets of no net-loss of biodiversity by 2024 with a net-gain by 2035.

From January 24th all woody vegetation within a minimum of four meters of the track will be cleared over approximately 10 weeks.

Following this work any trees that could fall on the line will be pruned or cut down to remove the risk to the railway.

Network Rail recognise the importance of such work however they acknowledge the disruption it may cause to those living near the line.

Kirsty Armstrong, Network Rail Project Manager said: “We look after thousands of miles of railway embankments and constantly work to manage trees and vegetation.

“Our new approach will compensate for what is removed through managed replanting.

“[This approach will] transform low value land into areas that will become species-rich, but also safe for the operation of services.

“We will be carrying out as much of the work as possible during the day to minimise the amount of disruption to our neighbours.

“There will, though, be sections closest to the line where we have no alternative but to work at night.

“Our teams are always mindful of the impact their work can have on lineside neighbours and do what they can to minimise noise from site.

“We want to apologise in advance if anyone is disturbed by the work.”


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