Trunks and branches are mulched into sawdust
A KildareNow reader has raised the issue of what she claims are dozens of trees being cut down as part of the M7 widening project.
The local motorist said a line of tree stumps can be seen along a stretch of the southbound Hard Shoulder between Junction 11 and the M9 merge.
The trees have been cut by a contractor and mulched into sawdust in recent days.
The motorist inquired if new trees will be planted to replace those that have been removed.
The reader asked: "Does the contractor need a licence to cut down these trees?
"Also is there a commitment to re-plant any new trees in their place?"
KildareNow has raised the issue with Kildare Co Council's Kildare National Roads Office which issued a statement:
The statement said: "Tree and vegetation clearance is permitted to be undertaken within bird nesting season as part of the planning permission of the project subject to adhering to best practice ecological guidelines for the protection of birds during the nesting season.
"Areas where site clearance / vegetation clearance is being undertaken are first subject to nesting bird surveys prior to any clearance works commencing.
"Site clearance only proceeds in areas where it has been established from the surveys that there is no nesting activity.
"Vegetation is being removed to accommodate new drainage lines and carriageway widening. "A comprehensive soft landscaping design has been developed to mitigate for loss of vegetation.
"This includes for planting of trees and hedgerows. The landscaping design also provides for replacement planting along the M7 mainline."