We look after Parkland Walk, London’s longest local nature reserve. We take this responsibility very seriously. To support our management of the nature reserve and its railway line heritage, we've put in place ecological management plans and regular safety inspections of the bridges and underpasses that form part of the Walk.
This information details why we are undertaking works around the bridges along Parkland Walk, and all future plans.
We recognise that our maintenance actions do not always have everyone's full support. However, we always aim to ensure that the best interests of the environment and residents underpins all our work and that we are transparent and provide as much information as we can to residents to explain decisions.
Background to bridge repairs
Inspection of the bridges by engineers identified that damage by tree roots and the subsequent water ingress was affecting the structural safety of the bridges. At several locations along Parkland Walk we have had to introduce temporary supporting structures. The engineer’s advice is that to protect the bridges from further damage and to ensure the newly repaired or replaced bridges are not damaged again in the future, we should maintain the areas within 5 metres of each bridge or underpass structures free from trees. Not all parts of a bridge or underpass structure is visible and therefore 5 metres on the ground is from the edge of the whole structure, not just the visible parts.
We are committed to the nurturing and protection of the environment. The removal of trees is never our first choice and the decision to remove trees is never taken lightly. However, we have to remove a small number of trees within 5 metres of the bridges or underpass structures. Going forward we will maintain these areas as grass level vegetation within an annual maintenance cycle.
Over the past few years, we have been working on schemes to either repair or replace several of the bridges along the length of the Walk. We have also been working with local groups to consider the replacement of the Stanhope Road Bridge. Where we do replace a bridge, we will also explore opportunities to improve access for all residents by providing ramp as well as step access.
Overall, the repair and replacement of the first 3 bridges is an investment of £3.6m. Work is also in progress on 4 other bridges to consider their repair or replacement needs. Once completed the works will ensure Parkland Walk can be enjoyed by many generations to come.