Surrey Wildlife Trust has recently submitted a number of felling licence applications relating to the selective felling of ash trees suffering ash dieback. Their objective is to remove ash trees from which decaying branches, or the whole tree, might fall on the well used public access routes within and adjacent to their woodlands.
The Forestry Commission is currently considering these applications and has placed details of these licences (where they relate to selective felling) on the Public Register.
Key principles that Surrey Wildlife Trust has stated they wish to apply:
Felling of ash trees will focus on 30 meters zones adjacent to high risk areas including public footpaths, bridleways, roads and boundaries to neighbouring properties;
Ash trees outside these zones will be left, regardless of whether they have ash dieback or not;
Where other tree and shrub species are present within these 30m zones they will be retained;
Adhere to all other regulations pertaining to protected sites and protected species;
SWT will review their agreed Forestry Commission Woodland Management Plans (which were prepared before the impacts of ash dieback progressed to the current level) with regard to reassessing areas planned for felling and thinning. (Note: thinning is the process where approx. 25% of the trees are removed from a woodland to provide space for the retained trees to grow).