Gloucester County Council Press Release – 29 November 2021
To prevent the spread of ash dieback, the county council is removing infected trees and is committed to replanting two trees for every diseased tree lost. However, with the generous support from partners, the target is set to be smashed with a 185% increase in replanting this year.
4,955 dangerous and diseased ash trees have been removed with more work planned with 10,358 trees replanted so far.
Working in partnership with landowners, parish councils, the National Trust, Cotswold AONB, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, and Duchy of Cornwall this partnership is tacking the effects of the ash dieback disease whilst increasing tree numbers to support the fight against climate change.
By March 2022, 28,304 trees are expected to be planted either by the county council or on their behalf by parish councils.
Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Gloucestershire is fighting hard to tackle climate change and improve air quality. While it’s awful to lose any tree these are unavoidable losses. Ash dieback is catastrophe for nature and we’re doing our best to mitigate this with the 2-4-1 commitment. All part of our campaign to create a Greener Gloucestershire.”
More on the disease and biodiversity
Ash dieback is a disease that causes leaf loss and dying branches, and can lead to the death of a tree. The disease attacks ash trees quickly and there currently is no prevention or treatment available.
Ash dieback damages a tree’s limbs and causes them to become unsafe. These diseased trees have an increased risk of collapsing which can be dangerous, especially if they fall on a road.
The wood removed from site is sent to biomass power stations to produce electricity and heat to fuel our homes. A set amount of vegetation including wood and chippings are also left on site for biodiversity reasons.
The county council have also identified the presence of violet click beetles on a number of sites. These rare insects are found in the heart of decayed ancient trees, and in Britain found only within beech and ash trees. Therefore where it is safe to do so large mature stumps have been left at a reasonable height to ensure this essential habitat is preserved.
Surveys of areas where trees have been felled are showing positive results with lots of signs of natural regeneration which is great for the county’s biodiversity.
Further information about the Ash Dieback project is available at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/ash-dieback.
Planting more trees will help us work towards a Greener Gloucestershire by improving air quality. You can sign up to receive the new ‘Greener Gloucestershire’ newsletter, to keep up to date on local activity, as well as to receive hints and tips on how you can reduce carbon emissions and take action to protect the future of our environment. Find out more about the different projects by heading to the website and follow #GreenerGloucestershire on social media.