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Network Rail destroys birds’ nest area near the Emirates Stadium claim

11:16 13 June 2012

The land near the Emirates after the trees and vegetation were removed

The land near the Emirates after the trees and vegetation were removed

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Campaigners say Network Rail has committed a crime by destroying a green area where birds are reportedly nesting.

Some residents and councillors are furious with Network Rail for chopping down trees and clearing vegetation last weekend near Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

The Islington Green Party contacted British Transport Police claiming it breached the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Emma Dixon, who called police, said: “I am outraged that publicly funded Network Rail is destroying precious wildlife habitat.”

Donna Grant, 53, of Ashburton Triangle, Drayton Park, said: “We are worried it will be covered in Tarmac. It just beggars belief.”

Islington Council has now written to Network Rail expressing “dissapointment” and demanding it stops the work.

Cllr Paul Smith, executive member for environment, said: “We’re committed to protecting the environment so this work is of a concern.”

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “We received a report on Tuesday of trees being cut down close to the rail line.

“Officers will look to determine whether any offences have taken place and ensure appropriate agencies are informed.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “It is essential we keep trees, plants and vegetation alongside the tracks under control to run a safe and efficient railway.

“We carry out surveys before and during any work to prevent nesting birds being disturbed. If anyone has concerns contact 08457 11 41 41.”

Islington Green Party members and residents are planning a protest from 5.30pm this evening (Wednesday June 13) outside Network Rail’s headquarters in Kings Place, York Way, Islington.

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