To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 28 October (HL39), what estimate they have made of the total area, in hectares, of trackside vegetation cleared by Network Rail during the past five years.
Network Rail (NR) is one of Britain’s largest landowners, responsible for 20,000 km of track and 52,000 hectares of land in its estate. Since 2016, NR has recorded operational vegetation management across 9,749 hectares. Total figures in hectares are not available for before 2016 as some vegetation management was then recorded in track miles. Vegetation management on NR’s estate includes the removal of some trees where necessary, but also periodic trimming of trees or hedges.
As a responsible landowner, NR must effectively manage the natural environment on its estate. It is currently developing a biodiversity strategy that will ensure the protection and enhancement of biodiversity while still ensuring the safety and performance of the railway.