Important information – Please read
Ash dieback tree felling programme
In October 2019 the Forestry Commission confirmed that our woodland was infected with Chalara ash dieback, and advised us to begin removing all diseased and dangerous trees.
We began the first stage of felling in January 2020, allowing the spring and summer for the land to settle and regenerate. The final stage of felling took place in September 2020 and all diseased trees have now been removed. The woodland is now much more open and light, allowing for natural regeneration to take place which is supplemented by the planting of a variety of trees to create a more diverse and resilient woodland for the future.
The photos below were taken immediately after felling in October 2020 and before any regeneration has started.
(Please take a moment to watch ‘A year in the life of an ash tree’.)
What is Ash Dieback?
Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus ) was first reported in UK in 2012. It is a fast spreading fungus which originated in eastern Asia. The disease affects the tree’s vascular system and the pathogen causes necrosis in the sapwood, which in turn affects the tree’s ability to draw nutrients into its upper branches. It is now present all across UK, and it is expected that the majority of ash trees in woodlands will decline and die over the next 10–15 years.
Our woodland is designated as Ancient Semi Natural Woodland, and is largely an overgrown ash and hazel coppice. The timber was historically harvested to fuel the old iron pits in the woodland. It had been neglected for many years until 2010 when we cleared the fallen timber from the ‘87 storm.
In 2010 we decided not to coppice the ash, but to manage and preserve it. We have monitored the progression of ash die back since its arrival to UK in 2012, but in October 2019 the woodland officer confirmed that our ash trees were infected with the disease, and that we should implement a plan for their removal.
The woodland comprises of many species including ash, oak, beech, maple, alder, poplar, crab apple and cherry. The lower canopy is made up of coppiced hazel, yew and holly. There is a diverse ground flora which includes honeysuckle, wood spurge, wild garlic, primroses, bluebells, yellow pimpernell and early orchids.
The woodland is also teeming with plenty of wildlife such as bats, badgers, owls, rabbits, woodpeckers, deer, newts, frogs and a heron!