Our work clearing vegetation by the railway helps to keep trains running safely and on time

We receive many enquiries about our vegetation work and know that the decisions we take are important, especially for our lineside neighbours – anyone who lives, or runs a business, within 500 metres of the railway.

We understand that cutting back vegetation can be unsettling for those who live nearby and have grown used to the trees or hedges in the local area.

To find out more about how we manage vegetation by the railway, please click on the links below.

Vegetation management

How we work sensitively with nature to maintain a safe, reliable railway.

Large scale tree and woodland management

How we take care in ensuring lineside vegetation and tree management works are handled correctly and sensitively.

The Varley Review

On 28 November 2018, the DfT published the findings of the Varley Review of Network Rail’s approach to vegetation management in England and Wales.

Network Rail welcomes the Varley Review and the opportunity it gives us to develop an ambitious vision for increasing biodiversity on the railway. We are committed to addressing all of the Review’s recommendations at the same time as delivering a safe and reliable railway that puts passengers first.

In line with the Review’s recommendations, we are developing the standards that will see vegetation on our lineside estate managed as an asset. This will see the business make better use of environmental data to improve net biodiversity on the railway and contribute to the Government’s targets on habitat and woodland creation.

We recognise the importance of the Review’s recommendations around communicating with our lineside neighbours, particularly in instances where vegetation management works are taking place. A new suite of communication materials has been developed in partnership with the Tree Council to ensure that our neighbours are better informed about the work taking place near their homes.

Read the Varley review

Your trees next to the railway

We can help with tree safety concerns where your trees might pose a risk to the railway and guide you through the planning and safe execution of tree work that you are proposing to undertake.

Where you have concerns with trees next the railway please take some time to have your trees inspected by a qualified tree inspector. 

If work is needed to your trees, please make contact with the relevant team for your area.

If one of your trees has already fallen onto our land or is at imminent risk of falling, please contact our emergency 24 hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41

The fact sheet below provides further information on trees that are in close proximity to the railway. 

Related fact sheet