Shuttleworth trust tackles Ash dieback in Sheerhatch Wood

The Shuttleworth Trust will be undertaking felling works of Ash trees in Sheerhatch Wood in early 2020 due to the impact of Ash dieback.

The Trust’s Forestry Consultant, Tim Shardlow of Nicholsons, explained, “Unfortunately, the Ash has and will continue to succumb to Hymenoscyphus fraxineus or Ash dieback; a fungal pathogen that affects the tree’s water transport system causing it to initially dieback and then die.

The wood is a total of 176 acres, compromising predominately of Ash with Oak, Hazel, and other mixed broadleaves. Over the next two years, the plan is to reduce the dominance of ash in the woodland mainly by a process of thinning within up to 100 acres of the woodland. This process will reduce the number of ash whilst favouring retention and development of other species. It is not the intention to remove all the ash in the wood.

Others areas within the woodland, unfortunately, are more heavily populated with ash, and in these, a selective felling option will be used, with some limited clear felling. These areas will be replanted. The largest area of clear felling will be restricted to a narrow strip along the roadside edge due to safety concerns to road users.

Works are to take place under an approved Forestry Commission felling licence. Where felling does take place these areas will be restocked with native broadleaves using a species mix of Oak, Lime, Sycamore, Hornbeam, and Hazel. Just under 26,000 new trees are scheduled to be planted in order to replace woodland lost to the disease”.

Works are due to commence in 2020 and take two years to complete.