Network Rail has been accused of clearing more track-side greenery than necessary.
Environmental groups say that if you add up all the small copses they are removing from railway embankments across the country it is the equivalent of destroying an area as large as the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.
Darren Moorcroft, head of species and habitat conservation at the RSPB is worried that "the scale of removal is such that it is putting at risk... 1.5 million nests".
"There are places where
we have been quite clumsy in how we've gone about this," admits Robin Gisby, Network Rail's Managing Director of Network Operations, but concedes they are "not by any means anti-tree".
Gisby today promised the company "will do better in the future".
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