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Help from the branch line

Posted on May 27 2014 at 10:10:17

Wildside tree surgeons

Network Rail’s tree surgeons stepped in to deal with a large fallen tree in Alvechurch, which was threatening to affect both the new cricket season and the Picnic in the Park event.

The 25-metre black poplar, which originally stood on the boundary fence of Alvechurch & Hopwood Cricket Club, was one of many local trees brought down in the February storms.

It crashed down across Willow Brook and on to part of The Meadows playing fields, owned by Alvechurch Parish Council. 

Network Rail – currently working on improvements to Alvechurch station as part of the Redditch Branch enhancement project – was keen to help the local community by sending its specialist tree surgeons, Wildside, to solve the problem.

Wildside spent two days reducing the tree to a massive pile of logs and wood chippings. The latter have helped improve the path from the playing fields to the cricket club.

Parish Council chairman, Andy Humphries, said: “I’m delighted that Network Rail and their contractor could help the Parish Council and cricket club so quickly.

“They had the skills, experience and equipment needed for such a large tree.”

Roger Clarke, Network Rail’s Project Manager, said: ”It’s always good to be able to help local people out.

“We do understand that our construction work can disturb those living nearby and it’s good to give something back to those communities.”

Volunteers from Alvechurch Village Society, which maintains footpaths around the parish, also helped out by replacing a wooden footbridge smashed by the tree as it fell.

* Alvechurch Parish Council is considering using the fallen tree for sculptures or other wooden objects around The Meadows.

Andy Humphries said it was exploring possibilities and may talk to the Lickey Hills rangers.

Pictured: John Townsend, Matthew Fawcett and Wade Palmer.

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