N21online.com has set up a petition to deliver to Network Rail. It reads:
We, the undersigned, wish to register our complaints about the destruction of the natural habitat in the vicinity of Green Dragon Lane; by National Rail, which was undertaken without consultation with local residents".
Here is what some of you have said already:
Paul Hutchinson of the Grange Park Conservation Study Group writes:
"The Grange Park conservation area study group is concerned at the lack of effective consultation on behalf of Network Rail and First Capital Connect, with the local community and residents, about the deforestation and clearance of this significant piece of railway land. While we understand what may be the rationale behind these works, and that this is work in progress, we are also very concerned at the shock caused to local residents without any apparent advanced communication. Bearing in mind we believe this is supposed to be part of a wider designated wildlife corridor and nature conservation site, by Enfield Council (see "Enfield Local Development Framework Proposals Map, adopted 10 November 2010"), we would press strongly that all involved do their utmost to return the site to an appropriate area for nature conservation with suitable planting to shield the railway line. We are also aware that the embankment at Grange Park station is suffering from similar slippage, and may well be subject to similar works at some stage in the future. As this is part of the conservation area, we hope that lessons will be learned from this episode and that appropriate consultation takes place before works are scheduled to start there."
Bill Linton Enfield Green Party says
"This appears to be ecological vandalism for its own sake - the stated reason does not add up. Local people should have been consulted, whether or not there was a legal obligation - it's just common politeness!"
Alan "I would like to register my strong disagreement with the actions of Network Rail in felling so much mature wood without playing fair by the local community. This appalling action merely highlights the contempt with which faceless corporate executives are willing to treat the affected public. It's a shame that any redress is pointless; it would have to be sought by publicly-funded bodies from other publicly-funded bodies to no economic or ecological gain. Nevertheless, involved senior management should be named and shamed and, if necessary, dismissed"
Peter "I thought that tree roots bind the soil on the embankment and as those roots of the (now dead) trees decay the soil becomes unstable. There are plenty of instances around the world where deforestation associated with urban development or the clearing of land for agriculture have resulted in a loss of slope stability and land slips or mud slides. Network Rail seem to be trying to pull the wool over your eyes after a heavy handed attempt of addressing the problem of leaves on the line. But what do I know? I am only a civil engineer with more than thirty years experience in soil mechanics!"
Phil "Please keep me informed about an evening meeting with Network Rail concerning the appalling and reckless environmental damage Network rail have committed"
Helen "I would like to express my utter disbelief at Network Rail's pointless massacring of trees along the sidings at Grange Park"
Jo "I have had a tree cut down outside the balcony of my apartment last weekwhich was not causing any overhang or any disruption to Network Rail asit was at the bottom of the verge, so thought it was a very strange one to pick. This will change the aesthetics which is a shame and seemingly for no reason?"
Yasmine "I would like to sign the petition with regards to the devastation Network Rail has caused in our neighbourhood with the cutting of the trees and destroying the woodland area. Only yesterday my husband was taking our dog out for a walk and he noticed a big owl flying around the area which it seemed to us that it must of lost its home with the cutting of the trees and not to mention the devastating effect it has had on other wildlife animals. I am surprised Network Rail managed to get planning permission to cut down all those trees because as far as I am aware Enfield Council requires all residents to obtain planning permission prior to cutting down any tree in their own property let alone cut hundred of trees down without any consultation with the local residents. It will not surprise me next if that land is sold to property developers to build eyesore flats. It saddens me to see that they have destroyed our beautiful woodland area and uprooted all the wildlife animals from their natural habitat."
Neill "The view from my home was destroyed without notice or consultation in 2006, when this rampant destruction began. I tried in vain to stop the continuation of this policy without consultation or consideration to the natural environment but failed. They do not care about residents at all and use their legal powers to overide all opposition citing danger as the reason. Anyone with a home near to the railway is at risk"
Charles It is unbelievable (and smacks of a cowardly and could not care less attitude) that this is the only time that they can come up with. It is a time when greater than 50% of the community will be unable to attend as a result of work commitments"
Mike "While there may be no legal obligation on NR to do any more by way of 'consultation' than they have done (a point which may need to be contested), advance publication of plans and reasons would only have been courteous. It would appear that NR have acted with the all too familiar arrogance of big business. If they proceed with the attitude that they have done nothing wrong, while that may be technically correct, that will not satisfy residents and a little humility on the part of NR, together with a commitment to acceptable reinstatement of the devastated area might go some way to assuaging the anger clearly felt by many local people"
Andrea "The view from my kitchen window and the surrounding areas to my flat have been destroyed. My property as well as others are now exposed to trains more noise and a very eyesore landscape which was once surrounded by evergreen. The area looks horrendous and i am very worried that it will effect the areas market and village feel. It is also extremely sad that trees that had lived for years have been hacked away. We had no warning, no proposal - nothing from national rail. Something must be done and they should be made to restore the land they have destroyed"
Daphne "I'd like to contribute to the petition regarding the railway banks' clearance. National Rail did the same thing between Winchmore Hill Stn and Compton Road a couple of years ago, and staff and two of our Eco group at St Paul's School were interviewed saying we didn't want the bank behind the field cleared as it adjoins the school's garden and wildlife area. So far so good but it's important to stop the rot elsewhere"
Francis " I am VERY angry about what National Rail has done to the trees, bushes, undergrowth and wildlife by the railway line - still, I'm sure they are getting a bob or two for the timber they are harvesting and that will help to keep our rail fares down - Yeah, Right!"
Viviane "If this was happening in the Amazon Rainforest we would be the first to raise our disapproval - Winchmore Hill and Grange Park have been ruined, look an absolute eyesore, wild life condemned to death - I thought we were meant to be preserving nature - when it rains soil will be washed down the embankment which will become even more unstable - I feel those who live and back onto this outrage"
Graham "Whilst driving past this site early this week I saw in the little lay-by three vans with "Japanese Knotweed Eradication" on the side and 5 or 6 people dressed in all-over protection gear including goggles/ face masks, presumably for protection whilst spraying which would not be necessary merely for inspection. Japanese knotweed is a developer's nightmare and there are very strict legal controls and restrictions on building on land contaminated by Japanese knotweed, so Network Rail can hardly be contemplating a sale for development can they, unless ........."
Janice "I cannot put into words how angry and upset I am to see the destruction that has taken place"
Keith "Please add my name to the protest re the outrageous destruction of environment"
Natalia " I find it extraordinary that in these democratic times a large organisation can impose such appalling, wholesale destruction of a green space without any consultation whatsover with the local community. The area now looks like something out of a Terminator movie and the wildlife and greenery that have flourished there for years have been desecrated"
Peter "I have just passed the site on a train and was dumbfounded to see the devastation. Unbelievable; outrageous. Having just submitted an application to merely prune a hawthorn tree to comply with local authority regulations, I find it amazing that Network Rail seems beyond the reach of the local community and accountable to no-one"
Raymond "I just cannot believe what they have been allowed to do. I really could cry at the total destruction that they have caused. My flat is in Deepdene Court. My outlook was one of tree tops and woodland, teaming with wildlife. Now i have a mud bank ,metal fencing and the trains. I am so angry about this ! Please keep us informed with any news or meetings about this"
Jill "It is unbelievable that this has been done without any consultation and the decimation of the trees has a material adverse effect on the houses in the vicinity who now have views of trains passing and the resultant noise pollution which was significantly masked by the trees until now"
Linda "I think that Network Rail have been deliberately negligent and irresponsible in going about this work. The impact to local residents is huge and the impact potentially dangerous to the local environment"