AREAS of Cwmbran’s popular boating lake will be closed to the public until mid-March for tree felling.

More than 600 metres of conifer trees near the railway line and adjacent to the boating lake and the park will be felled from the end of February.

Many of these trees, the council and Network Rail said, are “decayed and leaning dangerously towards the railway line.”

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As a result, parts of the park and lake will be closed over a 13-day period.

The tree felling will take place from midnight to 8.45am on Sunday, February 28, and Sunday, March 7 - but large vehicles moving around the site while timber is chipped and taken away will mean parts of the boating lake will be closed during the week.

The areas north of the Boat House - including the play area, but excluding the Boat House itself - will be closed for this entire 13-day period.

And from Sunday, March 7 to Friday, March 12, the whole boating lake - including the play area and car park - will be closed.

The tree felling will take place overnight - while trains are not running - so there will be some disturbance to nearby residents.

The council said the trees would be replaced with “suitable native species of trees to replace those felled.”

A spokesperson at Network Rail said: “The decision to fell this particular group of trees at Cwmbran Boating Lake has not been taken lightly - a recent survey shows these conifers have become very decayed, unbalanced and heavily weighted towards the railway line.

“In bad weather, this could result in the trees being blown onto the track, causing a major hazard and preventing trains from passing safely. These trees need to be removed as a matter of urgency and we will do this as quickly as possible while minimising disruption by felling at night.”

Cllr Mandy Owen, executive member for the environment, said: “Unfortunately these mature trees need felling due to the risk they present to the railway line.

“We are preparing a plan for replanting so that native species can establish themselves over time. We do appreciate that this is going to cause disruption and at times the park and car park will be closed and ask that people respect this as the closures are to ensure safety.”