Urgent work could see 100 to 200 diseased trees removed from Brighton park

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The work to remove the trees started yesterday (April 4) and could take about two weeks, the council said.

Urgent conservation work is underway in Withdean Park, Brighton, to remove dead or diseased Ash trees to limit the spread of Ash Dieback.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: "Sadly, we estimate that we’ll need to take down between 100 and 200 trees in the area. The trees have been inspected and need to be removed due to their fragile and dangerous condition.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We will be carrying out daily surveys while the tree work takes place to make sure any disturbance to wildlife in the area is kept a minimum."

Up to 200 trees at Withdean Park could be lost, the council saidUp to 200 trees at Withdean Park could be lost, the council said
Up to 200 trees at Withdean Park could be lost, the council said

The tree removal work is due to take around two weeks and the council said it would try to avoid tree removals during the nesting season.

The spokesman added: "Where we do carry out removals in the nesting season we work closely with an ecologist to ensure that the risk to wildlife and birds is minimised. If there is a need to relocate any nests this is only carried out as a last resort and with specialist advice.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We’ll need to close some footways and entrances in the park while the work takes place. Signage will be in place to explain why the work is taking place. Please accept our apologies for any disruption this may cause."

Ash dieback is killing ash trees throughout the country, with the worst affected areas being in the south east of England, the council said. Diseased Ash trees have now been removed from seven locations within the city.

"Unfortunately, Ash dieback is impossible to contain and we have already been forced to take action as it spreads throughout the city," said the council spokesman.

"We have to remove the diseased trees to contain the spread of infection and ensure the people are safe to enjoy the city’s woodlands."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The council has been granted a special Felling License from the government’s Forestry Commission, which includes plans for the restocking, regeneration or improvements to each site.

Councillor Amy Heley, co-chair of the council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee, said: “Sadly, when ash trees have been infected with Ash dieback, we have no alternative but to remove them. It’s very upsetting for everyone, but our tree experts are working alongside other specialists to inspect our ash trees and look out for the signs of Ash dieback and any other diseases too.

“When removing trees, we always ensure the effects are kept to an absolute minimum, especially when it comes to the natural habitats of our wildlife.

“Although the disease is having a devastating impact within the city and throughout the country, we are positively regenerating areas through careful planning. Volunteers and community groups have been working hard planting trees in a wide variety of areas to replace those we have lost and increase the species of trees within the city.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Find out more about the council's work to tackle Ash dieback in Brighton & Hove here: How we manage ash dieback (brighton-hove.gov.uk)