Ash Dieback at Harewoods and Outwood Common
Ash dieback is spreading on Outwood Common and surrounding areas of the Harewoods estate. It’s causing some trees to become brittle and potentially in danger of becoming unstable or shedding limbs. For this reason some ash trees will be removed this year.
'We realise that seeing machinery removing trees in well-loved landscapes is difficult for people. As a team we find it hard too. The forestry operation to remove ash trees at Harewoods is an unwelcome, but necessary job to instruct. We need to act to ensure people are safe,’ says Henry Barnard, Lead Ranger for Harewoods.
Trees have been individually assessed, however along the edge of Outwood Common (along Millers Lane) and along Outwood Lane, there are a lot of infected ash trees which will have to be removed. So whilst there should not be many large gaps in woodland there will be areas of higher visibility to visitors and the public.
When will the works start and how long will they go on for?
The forestry operations will be taking place on and off over the next few years until such time that we have removed all of the trees that present a risk to the public.
I live in or near Outwood, will this be disruptive to my household?
We don't anticipate any major disruption to residents, however you may see the contractors nearby.
Birds usually nest in that tree you’re felling?
We hope to avoid the nesting season, but every tree has a wildlife impact assessment before any work is started. If a bird is building a nest, the felling will be put on hold unless there is an urgent need to remove it.
Will the works interfere with my visit?
It may be necessary to temporarily divert footpaths or close off small areas where works are taking place. This should be for no more than a couple of days.
Will there be big machinery?
Ash dieback can render trees more brittle than usual, making them unsafe for climbing. The tree surgery contractor will use specialist mechanical equipment to remove trees safely.
Will it look like a war zone afterwards?
Some areas will look messy for awhile due to the amount of timber being left on site. It's more beneficial to wildlife to leave the timber than removing it all. Over the next few years this will start to blend in to the woodland and will not be so noticeable. In other areas we are only removing individual trees where it’s necessary to do so, therefore the impact on the visual landscape will be minimal.
Are you planting any trees to compensate for the ones you’re felling?
Trees that have been removed will open up the canopy in the woodland for natural regeneration.