Work starts to tackle ash dieback disease in Richmond woodland

Mile Planting.

Work has begun to tackle the problem of ash dieback disease in woodland on the edge of Richmond.

Zetland Estates has begun forestry work in Mile Planting to take out all the ash trees.

They will then be replaced with mostly native broadleaf trees.

The work will be completed by March next year.

Zetland Estates forester Shaun Purkiss said the reason for the forestry work was  due to the identification of ash dieback – a highly destructive disease of ash trees – in the woodland.

He added: “Ash dieback is highly destructive to the structural well being of the ash tree and is fatal, it will change the shape of a lot of woodlands in the coming years.

“The removal of the ash from Mile Planting is essential to protect the health and well being of the home owners and their properties that share the boundary of the wooded area.

“After felling, a comprehensive re-planting scheme will be implemented which is a condition of the licence we have to do the work from the Forestry Commission.

“We would hope that the public respect the safety signage and stay out of the woodland not only for themselves but for the operators on site.”

Zetland Estates say that although there are no official public footpaths within the wood we will be working on, there is evidence of a well-walked route through the woodland.

During the period of work, they are advising people to stay away, especially during the felling stage.

Over the last ten years, Zetland Estates says it has created nearly 100ha of new woodland, which has added a significant percentage to the 220ha of existing woodland.