Protesters outraged as trees are felled along canal banks

HUNDREDS of trees sheltering endangered wildlife such as long-eared owls and badgers have been felled along the Coalisland Canal.

The destruction of the trees, which lined about a mile of the canal at Moor's Bridge, has prompted outcry from conservationists and local residents.

"This is insane. At a time when everyone is planting trees this mass destruction makes no sense at all," said local naturalist Plunkett Scullion.

The Rivers Agency, the organisation responsible for chopping down the trees, came under fire from Mr Scullion.

"It's one thing to thin out trees but it's a totally different thing to fell the entire lot," he said.

"It appears that they were just not content to remove overhanging branches but went on the overkill and took down every single tree.

"These trees were nesting and feeding areas for a large amount of wild birds like redpools, tree-climbers, goldfinches, goldcrests, and kingfishers.

"These endangered birds will no longer nest along the canal because there is no cover."

Read the full story in this week's issue of the TYRONE TIMES