Trees and the railway

With around 10 million trees on our railway network, we link up with environmental organisations for best practice and research.

Did you know?

  • Our aerial survey and tree census database completed in March 2017 means we can target specific trees for vegetation management.
  • Many of the older trees on our network are important habitats for wildlife, and some are protected by legislation.
  • We liaise with Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales, Defra, Tree Council, Woodland Trust, the Wildlife Trusts and Forestry Commission among other organisations.
  • We are linking up with Woodland Trust, Defra, Forest Research and Cardiff University to help fund research into factors affecting the cause and spread of ash dieback disease, and offering our tree stock to help with the investigations.
  • We have a number of tree planting initiatives to help offset biodiversity lost due to work we’ve carried out.
  • In the Avon Gorge on the Portishead railway line there are six rare species of whitebeam trees on the cliffs above the River Avon that can’t be found anywhere else. We have to manage these carefully.
  • The biggest trees on the network are an avenue of coast redwoods (seccoyas) either side of the railway near Bradford on Avon station, which are likely to date back to when the railway was built in the 1830s.

You can find out about all this and more on our trees web page