Tree felling near to University station

Staff should be aware that work is set to begin as part of a planned expansion of the University station.

As part of this work, Network Rail has offered - at its own expense -to fell 24 large Lombardy poplar trees bordering the railway line, but which are on University land. A further 6 trees stand on NHS land.

In recent years these trees have caused increasing concern to Network Rail and the University due to the risk of branches and even whole trees falling onto the railway line, the station, and the overhead electric cables; indeed, a number of small branches have already fallen.  In addition, some trees show evidence of decayed, weakened branches, and this species is especially prone to outwardly healthy trees harbouring serious decay in the trunk, making them unstable.

The work is scheduled to be carried out from November 16, and will take around 6 weeks. The programme will require a number of track closures but these will take place at night to eliminate the effect on passengers.

Although it is not a requirement to replant the trees, the University will plant an extra 32 trees across its two campuses to mitigate for the loss of the poplars once the current round of developments are complete. They cannot be replanted in their current site due to the potential for the problem to recur.

The University car park on Vincent Drive will be closed in order for the work to be carried out as the contractors will need access to the car park to carry out the work. The work will be moderately noisy as large chainsaws and timber shredding machinery are used. The University has communicated with facilities managers in nearby buildings to ensure noisy works are carried out at the times when there will be least disruption, including any exams.