10:14AM, Wednesday 13 January 2021
Hundreds of trees which pose a risk to public safety will be felled this winter across 1,000 acres of National Trust woodland in Maidenhead and Taplow.
Affected ash trees further away from public areas at Cliveden and Maidenhead and Cookham Commons will be left to die and decay naturally to create homes for wildlife, but about 550 will be chopped down.
The National Trust estimates that 40,000 ash trees will need to be chopped down on land it cares for over the next few months, costing millions.
Owen Hibben, lead ranger for Maidenhead and Cookham Common, says: “This deadly disease is killing many of the trees in our woodland. It’s causing some trees to become brittle, with the potential to become unstable or shed limbs.”
Tim Crauford, lead ranger for Cliveden, added: “We’ve found that it’s the younger 20-30 year-old ash trees that are most affected by the disease and we’re encouraged that some of the mature and veteran trees seem more resilient, maybe they hold the key to the future.
“The woodland will be allowed to regenerate naturally, whilst elsewhere on the Cliveden estate, 250 new trees are being planted as part of the regular programme of restoration works.
‘We realise that seeing machinery removing trees in well-loved landscapes is difficult for people. As a team we find it hard too. Please be patient with us when we have to temporarily close or divert routes whilst the forestry operations are underway.”
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