Important harvesting work to remove trees infected with Ash Dieback at Hill Wood in Erlestoke

Dear stakeholder

For your awareness, we are writing to inform you of important harvesting work taking place at Hill Wood in Erlestoke which forms part of our programme to remove trees infected with Ash Dieback from the woodlands on Salisbury Plain Training Area. We are also taking the opportunity to thin out some of the beech and conifer species as part of the work.

Felling has started this week and is due to finish by the end of October. You may begin to notice increased lorry movements from week commencing 19 July when we start to remove the felled timber from the woodlands.

The work has been planned during the summer months to reduce ground disturbance as much as possible, as the site can get very wet during the winter. Inevitably, there will be some disturbance to the tracks but these will be restored in the spring and any significant gaps created in the woodlands will be replanted. All work is being completed to the agreed conditions set out for forestry and tree works by the Forestry Commission and Natural England, which includes measures to protect animal habitats, particularly nesting birds.

Ash Dieback is a serious fungal disease of ash trees. There is no cure or treatment for the disease and over time infected trees will weaken, causing branches to fall and trees to eventually collapse and die. This means they present a significant health and safety risk, especially alongside roads, public rights of way and in woodland areas used by the public for recreation activities. This programme of work is therefore essential to protect our local communities. For your own safety whilst using the woodland, please also respect all safety signage and avoid entering any of the felling areas whilst work is taking place.

We apologise for any inconvenience this work may cause and thank you for your continued patience. If you have any questions or concerns please email nsc@landmarc.mod.uk or call 0800 022 3334.

For more information about Ash Dieback on the Ministry of Defence estate, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ash-dieback-on-the-ministry-of-defence-estate/ash-dieback-on-the-ministry-of-defence-estate.   

Yours sincerely

DIO Forestry Team

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