Ash dieback work in the White Peak
Ash trees are dominant in the White Peak. Sadly, the devastating fungal tree disease, ash dieback is present and work is now underway in the woodland affected. The work will also improve the biodiversity of these areas.
The work is being carried out to ensure the safety of the public and to help improve the condition of the woodland.
Contractors will fell ash trees that may pose a hazard; trained rangers have identified around 80 trees by the main path in Dovedale that are dead or close to death and require work. The trees have been assessed carefully and only those where it’s really necessary will be cut down.
Ash dieback, also known as Chalara, poses a big threat to the health of the many ash trees in the White Peak, and the woodlands are inevitably going to change dramatically.
Around 80% of the canopy of the woods in the White Peak are ash. Experience from Europe has demonstrated that the vast majority of ash trees may be affected by the disease over the next few years. It’s hard to spot the symptoms at this time of year but back in the summer the sad lack of leaves on many White Peak ash trees was very obvious to see.
As well as the safety work, a significant woodland management project is underway to improve the quality of White Peak woods for wildlife, especially in the face of this threat.
By felling small areas of woodland, natural regeneration of other tree species other than ash will encouraged. In some places the rangers and volunteers will also plant native trees to ensure the woods continue to thrive.