Work will soon begin removing around 270 dangerous Ash Dieback infected trees by Maidstone Borough Council from the Mote Park boundary.
The first phase of tree removal will take place from Monday 20 to Thursday 23 December and will continue between 10 January to 28 February 2022.
The work will involve closing part of the A20 Ashford Road on two Sunday’s in January. The road will be completely closed on Sunday 23 January from Willington Street to New Cut Road and on Sunday 30 January from New Cut Road to Square Hill so the trees can be safely cut down.
As a result of the infection the trees become brittle and unstable and can fall, which poses a serious health and safety risk. The height of the trees also means that if they were to collapse, they would fall onto the A20 and the network rail track. The progression of the disease has been monitored for a number of years and action must now be taken.
Deputy Leader of Maidstone Borough Council Jonathan Purle said: “It is extremely sad to have to cut down any trees, especially given the Council is now committed to extensive tree planting throughout the Borough. However, trees infected by Ash Dieback could pose a serious risk to life if they were to fall, therefore we have no choice but to safely remove them.”
Jonathan continues: “All the wood from the trees will remain in Mote Park in the form of habitats for wildlife, wood chip for flower beds and woodland paths. In line with our forestry commission felling licence we will be planting 30 new trees and letting the woodland naturally regenerate. The woodland will have a natural seed bank that will see hundreds of young trees emerging very quickly.”
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Ash Dieback which is a fungal infection spread by airborne spores. It was first seen in the UK in 2012 and it is estimated it will kill over 80% of all Ash trees and cost the UK economy £15 Billion.
Follow this link for further information which explains how the disease spreads, its impact and how it is managed: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/tree-pests-and-diseases/key-tree-pests-and-diseases/ash-dieback/