Tackling ash dieback at Baddesley Clinton

A ranger felling a tree in the parkland

Ash dieback is a growing concern across the country including at many National Trust properties and we will sadly see the decline and death of many – maybe the majority - of ash trees over the next few years.

Where trees die in places where they could affect people, we have an obligation to work on them to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, visitors and the wider public. We never fell trees without due consideration, and we have a comprehensive policy in place to help us make these decisions around ash dieback.

Contractors and our ranger team will be busy throughout the winter months felling the diseased trees
Trees being felled by contractors out on the estate
Contractors and our ranger team will be busy throughout the winter months felling the diseased trees

Work is due to start on 4 January until the beginning of February. Works will be taking place in ash copse next to the vegetable garden, the lakeside walk and the stew ponds as well as some work on the Heart of England Way out on the estate. Please be aware that some parts of the garden and estate might be closed on your visit so we can carry out these works safely.

From Tuesday 18 January for approximately 2 days, the lakeside walk will be closed while we carry out essential tree works. 

Ash dieback is caused by a fungus called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus; it is also commonly known as ‘Chalara’ after an old scientific name. The fungal disease originated in Asia and more than likely arrived in mainland Europe and the UK due to the movement of plants as part of global trade. The fungus spreads quickly as its spores are wind borne. It can take from 1 - 30 years for a tree to die after being infected. The record-breaking dry spell in spring 2020 made ash trees more susceptible to the disease. 

Some of the deadwood and log stacks left behind are excellent for fungi, soil condition, invertebrates and birds.
Felled wood left out on the estate
Some of the deadwood and log stacks left behind are excellent for fungi, soil condition, invertebrates and birds.

We are responding to ash dieback by undertaking tree safety work near footpaths, roads and accessible woodland. The disease weakens the tree's structure making them extremely prone to uprooting and limb drop and therefore unsafe to be around. Some of the felled trees will be removed and re-purposed as firewood and some out on the estate will be left. The deadwood and log stacks left behind are excellent for fungi, soil condition, invertebrates and birds.