A 'beautiful forest' will be felled and nearby homeowners disturbed when Transport for London (TFL) rolls in for more than a year of construction.

From September 19 to the end of autumn 2019 TFL workers will carry out maintenance work on a stretch of railway embankment on the Central Line between Chigwell and Grange Hill stations.

Before the land can be strengthened as planned however, trees and bushes needs to be cleared away.

James Nash, a Chigwell resident who was informed of the works less than two weeks before they are scheduled to start, is concerned about their environmental impact.

He said: "TFL plans to destroy a beautiful forest.

"This forest is historical and has existed since before steam trains even rolled down these tracks.

"TFL plans to completely remove all the trees that are home to small dear, woodpeckers, hedgehogs, owls and countless other birds and wildlife.

"Not only that, they provide a sound barrier of the loud tube noise."

Despite being asked three times, TFL representatives would not say how many trees will be cut down.

Mr Nash added: "I understand TFL have to do some work to reinforce the bank for public safety, however I cannot believe there isn’t a way to do with without removing every single tree, especially from the flat top area of the bank.

"This is an absolutely devastating deforestation.

"There must be a more environmentally friendly way."

The letter sent to Chigwell addresses explained how the banks would be covered with grass and saplings planted once the work was completed.

In addition to the environmental impact, those living near the tracks are worried about the noise of the construction process and the visibility of their properties.

Debbie, a Lechmere Avenue resident, said: "A lot of people are upset. There are concerns about noise and dirt pollution.

"From a security point of view we know that burglars have gone into back gardens then onto the tracks towards Grange Hill.

"If you get rid of the trees you might as well hang a sign up saying 'burglars this way.'

"Also, 6,000 trucks will be coming down my road from 8am to 6pm, six days a week and sometimes at night.

"No one will be able to sell their house because no one wants to live in a building site."

A public meeting organised by TFL will take place either on Friday or Monday, with the day yet to be confirmed.

Duncan Weir, head of tracks, said: “We need to carry out some essential maintenance to strengthen the stability of the railway embankment between Chigwell and Grange Hill.

"To enable these works to take place safely, the trees on the site need to cleared.

"Our contractors will take every care to ensure any disruption to nearby residents during the work is kept to a minimum and we will restore the embankment with seeded grass and a number of sapling trees.”