Trust aims to halt devastating tree disease

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s director of living landscapes, Ian Jelley, is cautious about the contents of the government's new 25 year plan to protect the environment.

A TEN year plan to help maintain a key area of woodland near Stratford could also halt a devastating tree disease which has wiped out ash trees all over Europe.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is about to implement its plan on woodland known as Snitterfield Bushes within the next two weeks.

Essentially the plan is intended to protect the woodland for wildlife and people for years to come by thinning out ash trees in favour of alternative species and encouraging biodiversity.

The plan has become more important since a fungal tree disease called ash dieback has spread across Europe and wiped out ash trees in Wales and Kent already this year.

Nick Feledziak, woodlands officer for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust said: “Because Snitterfield Bushes occupies part of an area that was once an airfield, many of the trees date back to that time. The disease ash dieback has been devastating ash trees throughout the country as it sweeps its way north, and has now reached Snitterfield Bushes. As the ash trees die they become dangerous to people so we will be thinning them before they fall on roads or paths but at the same time we will encourage alternative species to grow. This should add some resilience to the woodland and provide long-term protection for wildlife and people