Hundreds of park trees to be felled due to disease

A woodland with bluebells covering the ground
Some of the trees in Stanmer Park are more than 100 years old [BBC]

A park in Brighton will be partially closed for up to a month to allow hundreds of trees suffering from ash dieback to be felled.

There has been an increase in diseased trees falling onto pathways in Stanmer Park’s Great Wood area in recent months, according to Brighton & Hove City Council.

It said falling trees and branches pose a “very real risk of significant injury”.

On Wednesday, arboriculturists began removal work which is scheduled to take up to four weeks to complete. A number of path closures and diversions are in place in the Great Wood.

Five wilted green ash leaves
Roughly one in five of the trees in Brighton and Hove are ash [PA]

Dieback is a fungal disease affecting ash trees leading to canopy decline, dead branches and trees falling in minor winds

In a social media post, the council said "hundreds" of trees will be felled. It could not confirm an exact number to the BBC.

A spokesman said: “The threat from falling trees and the duty of care we have to park users mean that we have had to take the exceptional decision to do this work during the designated bird nesting season, which runs from March to the end of July."

Trees containing a nest, or those nearby, will only be felled once its chicks have fledged, he added.

The council said the disease is now occurring more often and affecting larger, more mature ash trees.

The felling will be overseen by an independent ecologist to ensure minimal disturbance to wildlife, the spokesman added.

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