NEIGHBOURS have reacted with anger and sadness after dozens of trees were cleared along the rail line near their homes.

Residents in Moses Gate were shocked to see Network Rail workers chopping down the trees that screen their houses off from the railway and provide natural soundproofing from trains.

Jackie Longworth, who lives in Wood Edge Close, said she was left ‘heartbroken’ by their removal.

She said: “I was crying, this morning was the first we had heard of it.

“We heard noise first thing this morning and thought they were just going to cut the odd one down. It’s just so sad to see the trees disappearing. They have been there for at least 40 years.

“There is wildlife as well in those trees, we have magpies that come back to the same nest in those trees, and that’s gone now. We all feel really, really sad.

“It’s just heartbreaking to see these trees being cut down for no reason, we could understand if there were branches hanging over, but those trees didn’t need to come down.”

Neighbour Lyndsey Batty added: “I’m absolutely shocked. I’m devastated , I can’t believe it.

“We’re open to the elements now and there’s the big factory across the way we obviously didn’t see before.

“This is just the icing on the cake after all these years and all this trouble. I feel really angry, I was nearly crying when I got the message at work. just wanted to come home.

And neighbour Carol Woodall added: “The way they have left it is an absolute eyesore. I get that they are electrifying the line but we have put up so much from them. This is the last straw.”

She added: “It’s just really sad there’s been no consultation through any of this.”

Network Rail bosses say letters were sent to residents in November explaining any vegetation within six metres of the line, which could touch live overhead wires, may be cleared to ensure safety as part of its preparations for electrification.