Work under way to save the ash trees at Leam Valley Nature Reserve - The Leamington Observer

Work under way to save the ash trees at Leam Valley Nature Reserve

Leamington Editorial 27th Sep, 2023   0

ESSENTIAL work to save the ash trees at Leam Valley Nature Reserve is under way.

Tree experts will be removing the trees already infected by ‘ash dieback’ at the woodland that forms part of Newbold Comyn.

The disease, if left untreated, could kill many of the ash trees at the reserve.

The initiative is the next phase of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Warwick District Council’s joint ten-year woodland management programme to improve the structural diversity, light and biodiversity of the district’s woodlands and follows two successful tree thinning operations at Oakley Wood.

Director of nature reserves at the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Karl Curtis said: “The woodland at Leam Valley Local Nature Reserve was mostly planted in the 1970s and is now beginning to mature, it therefore needs careful management so that it can continue to thrive.

“This can be achieved by balancing the age and size of the trees through thinning, removing those which are unsafe or diseased and introducing and encouraging the growth of varieties such as oak and cherry. The effect will be to create more light, homes and food sources for wildlife benefitting the long-term health of the woodland.”

WDC’s neighbourhood spokesperson Coun Will Roberts added: “Warwickshire is among the least wooded counties in the UK, which makes the woodlands in this district precious not only in terms of the landscape, but also for the role they play in securing carbon, purifying the air we breathe and prevention of flooding.

“One of the biggest threats to our woodlands would be a decision not to manage them, so while this programme of work may initially appear destructive, the woodland will soon recover and gain greater biodiversity and better protection from pests, diseases and climate change.”

The Leam Valley Woodland Management Programme is being led by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and will be completed by spring 2024. The areas affected will be signposted, with safety barriers in place.


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