12:50PM, Friday 01 November 2013
Visible changes to the York Stream channel look set to be made as early as this winter as part of the Maidenhead Waterways project.
The team behind the multi-million pound scheme to restore Maidenhead's waterways are aiming to start work clearing trees around the channel so it can be widened.
Maidenhead Waterways (MW) will only start the removal when it is ready to move forward, but want to avoid unnecessary disturbance to wildlife by completing it before the spring nesting season begins.
MW chairman Richard Davenport said he understood there may be concerns about the removal of dozens of trees but added: "Clearly we are not wanting to remove any trees we don't have to.
"Some parts are already wide enough and we just need to dig it deeper. In other parts it's very narrow.
"We will begin to see the opening up of the channel."
He said many of the trees were 'very overgrown, not well maintained and some of them are in very poor condition'.
He added all the trees had been surveyed and none were subject to tree protection orders.
The work comes at a time when a large amount of groundwork is going on behind the scenes in preparation for work to start in earnest on the first, £2.1m stage of the scheme.
Detailed designs are being drawn up, surveys have been carried out and the ground beneath the waterways and the drainage channels are being investigated.
It is hoped work will begin in spring next year.
Richard also addressed concerns about wildlife in the area, particularly badgers, and said the needs of animals were being taken into account as part of the plans.
He added: "We have done an up-to-date badger survey and there's no badgers actually in the areas we are planning to work on in the coming year."