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Protest over A14 tree felling in nesting season


By Adrian Curtis


A group of residents in Histon, Impington and Orchard Park have produced artwork to protest against the felling of trees by Highways England during bird nesting season.

Local residents have produced artwork to protest about the Highways Agency cutting down trees around Histon..Pic - Richard Marsham. (8497652)
Local residents have produced artwork to protest about the Highways Agency cutting down trees around Histon..Pic - Richard Marsham. (8497652)

They have been left fuming by the felling of a wooded area on the B1049 roundabout at a sensitive time for nesting birds. They claim an area in Orchard Park, landscaped with wild flowers, was turned into a car park for construction vehicles and a large swathe of trees and shrubs were cleared that had previously been alive with greenfinches, starlings and robins.

Campaigner Nicole Barton said: “The people joining this protest are feeling outraged that, while they are diligently and lovingly nurturing dwindling bird populations in their own gardens and supporting wildlife charities with monthly donations, just round the corner Highways England are impacting birds at the most vulnerable time of year by removing their shelter, nesting spots and food sources.

“The A14 team will have known for years that this area was to be cleared – it’s utterly unacceptable that they are doing it now. They’ve already received bad publicity for delaying the installation of air quality monitors along the route and now their reputation for minimising harm to and protecting the wildlife that finds itself in the path of the road is damaged too.”

A Highways England spokesperson said: “We are committed to delivering the new A14 to the highest environmental standards, and this includes how we work when we have to clear vegetation. Any vegetation we need to remove is checked by an experienced and qualified ecologist to ensure it is not being used by nesting birds, and then the work is carried out within 48 hours. If a nest is found, the tree or shrub is left alone until the chicks have left.

“We are installing more than 500 bird and bat boxes and plan to plant more than 850,000 trees and shrubs by the time the scheme is completed as part of our work to create 271 hectares of new wildlife habitats.”



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