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9th Dec, 2021

Forestry work begins in order to keep A4104 safe

Rob George 1st Sep, 2021

WORK has begun to remove disease infected trees at a local nature reserve in a bid to improve the safety for motorists using the road.

A programme of tree felling began on Tuesday (August 31) in a section of Tiddesley Wood which runs along the A4104. Almost all the ash trees in the section are infected with ash dieback.

A benefit of the removal of these trees is the remaining oaks, small-leaved limes and wild service trees will get more sunlight and nutrients, allowing them to become veteran trees of the future.

David Molloy, the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust officer responsible for managing the nature reserve, explained: “Ash dieback arrived in Worcestershire a few years ago and is now prevalent amongst our woodlands.

“We take it seriously and are looking at our own sites on a case-by-case basis – we don’t intend to routinely fell our woodland ash trees because we’re hoping to identify ones that are resistant to the disease.

“However, where they are a potential hazard – particularly to drivers along busy roads like the one from Pershore to Upton – we have to take action. Even with regular safety inspections, ash dieback can cause large trees to unexpectedly lose limbs or to fall over.

“As the section re-vegetates, there will be a diverse area of scrub habitat – including species like hazel, field maple and hawthorn – that will provide more nesting and feeding opportunities for wildlife.”

Ash dieback is widespread throughout both the UK and Worcestershire. The impact on the county’s woodlands is likely to be substantial but the Trust and other landowners are hoping to find disease-resistant trees which will form the basis for future regeneration.

“We understand visitors and drivers may have concerns when they see this section of a familiar landscape change quite quickly but we want to reassure people that we won’t be removing every tree,” he added.

“Our priority is the safety of road-users but we’re also relieved whilst we’re sadly seeing the loss of some of our ash trees, part of the by-product is the benefit to the trees that are left behind.”

Visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk for more.

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