Hundreds of trees have been cut down near the train track in Croxley Green, to stop falling leaves causing delays.

Work to remove trees has been carried out between the station and Harvey Road, and is now moving to the stretch of track south of Harvey Road, which should finish in March.

However, residents in nearby Gonville Avenue, Winton Drive, Frankland Road and Frankland Close have describing the new landscape as “a film scene of a First World War zone”.

The trees also acted protecting people's homes from the noise of the trains, and screened back gardens in which now overlook each other.

Rosemary Hanscomb, vice chairman of Croxley Green Residents’ Association, said: “It looks more like a film scene of a First World War zone.

“The sight from both sides of the bridge in Harvey Road shows a barren landscape with litter and piles of felled silver birch trees and unsightly stumps left to rot in the ground.

“Residents tell me that about 900 - 1,000 trees, none of them previously showing damage, have now been cut down with the stumps left in the ground.

“Surely that number of trees cannot all have been damaged? None of us can accept that it was necessary to cut down this many trees.”

Others have suggested that animals including birds, deer, squirrels, bats, and badgers have not been seen since the trees were cut down.

Joanne Wilson, a medical secretary from Winton Drive, said: “It looks really unsightly, these are trees that have been there for quite some time, in some parts they have made it look dreadful, they've gone gung-ho with chainsaws. Some of the trees were absolutely wonderful.”

The problem of leaves on the line is a seasonal occurrence in Britain and is particularly prevalent on the north end of the Metropolitan line.

The leaves are crushed into a slippery paste by the train wheels, which makes it difficult to grip the rails, leading problems with braking and overrunning platforms or signals.

Barry Grant, chairman of Croxley Green Residents' Association and a Frankland Road resident, suggested that the trees had not been properly maintained.

He said: “It appears that the wholesale felling of trees is a consequence of poor management and underfunding. We would not want to see such aggressive and inconsiderate work undertaken on the remaining areas of embankment around Croxley Green.

Tamara Salhab, TfL representative, said the work was part of “vegetation maintenance” on Metropolitan line embankments.

A survey was undertaken in spring last year, recommending that trees on the slopes should be coppiced to ground level, and some on the top of the slope should have branches trimmed.

Ms Salhab added: “The cuttings were overgrown and some trees were damaged and at risk of falling onto the railway should they fail; others were obscuring signals or contributing to leaf fall problems.

“This work will ensure that the safe running of the tube is not compromised and will help prevent any damage to property and railway assets that could result from overgrowth.

“An ecological survey was undertaken ahead of the works and all steps were followed to minimise impact to wildlife.”