Ash dieback at Holmwood Common

Ranmore Common seen from Holmwood

Ash dieback is spreading on Holmwood Common and surrounding areas. 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.

'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 Holmwood is an unwelcome, but necessary job to instruct. We need to act to ensure people are safe,’ says Henry Barnard, Lead Ranger for Holmwood Common.

Alongide Surrey County Council we have commenced tree safety works, to remove Ash trees affected by Ash Die-back, along the A24 adjacent to Holmwood Common between South & North Holmwood. Our part of these extensive works is limited to the north-bound carriageway between Bushey Croft and Oaks Lane.

When will the works start and how long will they go on for?

Once our work is completed, which is likely to be at the end of January, our contractors will be moving to other roadside areas adjacent to Holmwood Common where, over the coming weeks, they will remove other Ash trees that are considered to pose a road safety risk. This will be, in particular, along Mill Road, Blackbrook Road, the north end of Inholms Lane and on Spook Hill. In addition there are a comparatively small number of Ash trees that are to be removed from other parts of the wider Holmwood Common area.

I live in or near Holmwood 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.