Ash Dieback Reaches Nottinghamshire
Tuesday 7th October
Following the announcement that Nottinghamshire County Council plans to fell a large number of ash trees alongside main roads including the Colwick Loop Road, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, which manages over 1000 acres of woodlands in the county, has explained that whilst understanding the reasoning behind the plans, it has no plans to carrying out large scale felling on its nature reserves.
Now that Ash die back is confirmed in Nottinghamshire it is clear that a large proportion of native ash trees are at risk, and as has been the case in other countries, it is likely that a large percentage of ash trees will succumb to the diseases.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust cares for a number of the county’s finest ancient woodlands, many of which are dominated by ash – sites including Treswell Wood and Bunny Wood. Whilst ash die back is likely to have a significant impact on the character of these woodlands in the coming years, unless diseased trees pose a danger to the public due to the risk of branches falling onto roads or paths, the Trust, the county’s largest locally based conservation group, has no plans to fell a significant numbers of trees.
Ash trees affected by dieback die gradually and during this time they still provide a habitat for wildlife.
“If ash die back occurs on our nature reserves we do not plan any large scale felling of mature trees. It is likely that any mature ash trees that become infected will take a considerable time to die and we currently intend to let this process happen naturally. Affected trees are still likely to produce seed and new saplings could turn out to be resistant to the disease – so we want to allow natural regeneration of ash to provide habitat for wildlife - hopefully natural resistance will occur - and in time, resistant trees will take the place of those lost to the disease.” – Erin McDaid, Head of Communications.
The Wildlife Trust believes that this disease highlights the need for careful management of ancient woodlands in order to provide space for native trees and the wildlife that relies upon trees to thrive. Where possible, native woodlands should be extended to help ensure that they can cope with pressure from development, pollution and climate change.
At Treswell Wood, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has recently purchased land adjacent to the wood to allow for natural woodland regeneration – with no trees being planted. In this way, locally adapted trees will thrive and local genetic variations will be preserved, helping to create resilient woodland.