Ash Trees to be Felled at Enstone Firs West on the Ditchley Estate

Ash Dieback Disease has been confirmed as affecting nearby woodland in the plantation known as Enstone Firs West by the Forestry Commission last summer, and as such forestry operation now need to take place to clear fell and re-plant this area.

Infection causes ash trees to become weaker, brittle, structurally unpredictable and more likely to shed limbs, making felling even more dangerous. The expectation is that the vast majority of ash trees in an ash dominated woodland, such as this, will be dead within 10-15 years of infection. The implication for health and safety, and the owner’s associated duty of care, are thus very serious for all users of the woodland, both private and public. But most especially where roads run alongside the wood and public have rights of ways within the wood.

Following consultation with the Forestry Commission and local authorities, a felling licence has been issued permitting the felling and subsequent replanting. It is intended that a significant portion of maturing Beech along the southern edge of the woodland will be retained. Replanting is planned to be in a similar style as adopted in the 1950’s, with a predominantly native broadleaved planting together with a coniferous nurse.

Felling works are expected to commence this summer. The Estate has allowed the local community to use a permissive footpath through the woodland, however in the interests of public safety, the use of this must cease during these felling and replanting works, which is likely to be for several months. Forestry operations will be signed and adherence to the warning notices during the period of work will be required. It is very important that members of the public keep clear of the woodland during this period. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact:

Tim Shardlow at Nicholsons, 07909 530482, tim@nicholsonsgb.com.