Tree Shears integral to bypass build

Tree Clearance on Norwich Northern Distributor Road


A new bypass to Norwich, the Northern Distributor Road, needed extensive tree and vegetation clearance works to enable the £104 million road enhancement scheme to go ahead.  Practicality Brown worked for Balfour Beatty on clearing the trees, under the jurisdiction of Norfolk County Council.


To maximise efficiency, the majority of clearance was undertaken using Dymax Tree Shears mounted on tracked excavators. Mature trees were winched away from highways under traffic management conditions.

The project entailed extensive mechanised clearance of blocks of trees and individual trees, boundary hedgerows and scrub vegetation over multiple sites to establish the line of the new road.

Tree shears were used as they are able to hold the tree/vegetation in position, cut and manoeuvre the section to a stacking area.  The use of tree shears minimises the risk of damage caused by incorrect felling, removes any risks associated with manual handling and working at height.

All post-felling material was re-purposed or recycled; mechanising the felling processes with tree shears allowed for the removal of trees in whole pieces.  This timber was stacked and graded into saw logs and chip wood suitable for growing biomass fuel industry. 

Project in figures

Practicality Brown, using extensive experience and specialist machinery including Tree Shears, felled over trees over the 20km length of the land, together with the removal of 24km of hedges and over 1000 tonnes of timber.

23 live road interfaces and over 40 utility service interfaces were managed; involving the establishment of correct procedures and protocols to help tree removal.


The road, which is now open, serves Broadland, Norfolk and has improved access to North Norfolk and Norwich International Airport, with better links to Great Yarmouth and the south of the region. It also brings relief on congested and unsuitable roads around the north and east of Norwich and improves capacity for future growth in jobs and housing.


For more information surrounding this project or anything else, please contact us.

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