Well there may be some goods new on day two of Network Rails tree root investigations beside the main London line that cuts through Bath’s historic Sydney Gardens.
This is preliminary work required before the digging of ditches either side of the railway line to satisfy health and safety issues with the multi-billion pound electrification of the main line down to Bristol and beyond.
Work on that starts in the spring.
Today (Tuesday) they have been looking at the root system of a giant sequoia which stands at one end of the ‘viewing area’ that Brunel created so park users could watch his trains pass through.
There was concern the tree’s root system could be badly affected by the digging of the safety ditch but early indications are that it should be ok.
It’s a fine specimen of a tree usually found on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California. It’s more commonly known as a redwood and is a member of a species that produces the largest and tallest trees in the world.
Network Rail are investigating tree root positions using hand-held air picks.
The areas affected during 8 am to 5 pm each day are along the low balustrade wall from Sydney Gardens through to Beckford Road and along the low balustrade wall between Beck ford Road and the iron footbridge.
Network Rail has already given assurances to the Virtual Museum that there will be no major loss of mature trees either side of the rail line.
You can view an interview with Programme Director for the West of England elsewhere on this website.
The Virtual Museum is given to understand that these new works to investigate tree root locations will take place across a larger tract of the gardens than was checked back in July last year.
The works are not noisy but Network Rail have sent out letters to local residents to advise them of the works as part of their commitment to keep people updated.
They will also be placing notices at the park entrances as there may be temporary restricted access in some areas, at site compounds and are also providing the Holburne Museum with leaflets and information to share with anyone who may pop in to ask them what is going on.