Ash dieback infected trees near Tavistock to be removed

Photo of an Ash tree with Ash dieback being felled Ash dieback tree being felled

Posted on: 24 December 2020

Around 175 trees infected with Ash dieback will be felled from alongside the A386 near Tavistock next month (January).

The trees need to be removed for safety reasons, with work due to start on Tuesday 5 January and expected to take 10 days.

The majority of the work on the Tavistock Road, between Tavistock and Horrabridge, will be carried out with temporary traffic lights in place between 9:30am and 3:30pm. However, the road is scheduled to be closed during the same hours (9:30am-3:30pm) from Monday 11 January to Friday 15 January on the section from Grenofen to Anderson Cottage.

An official diversion will be signed via the A390, A388, A38 and A396 and vice versa. However, local drivers may find alternative routes.

Access to homes and businesses within the closure area will be maintained, although there may be small delays. Emergency access will also be maintained.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “It’s vital that we carry out this work to ensure that public safety is maintained on our roads. Trees infected with Ash dieback are at risk of collapse so we need to carry out this work as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to keep the disruption to a minimum.”

Cllr Philip Sanders

Councillor Philip Sanders, County Councillor for Yelverton Rural, said: “It is very sad that so many trees will be lost in this picturesque area but sadly for safety reasons they have to removed having contracted the Ash dieback disease. The road closure could cause an increase in traffic in the surrounding area, with particular pressure on Horrabridge, but I trust that HGV traffic will be directed away from the village of Horrabridge to avoid the worst of the inconvenience.”

Photo of Councillor Debo Sellis

Councillor Debo Sellis

Councillor Debo Sellis, County Councillor for Tavistock, said: “It’s always a shame to see trees removed, but these could become a danger to the public and safety is paramount. Ash dieback is having a devastating impact on our environment, but it’s reassuring that Devon County Council is working with partners to ensure we continue planting replacement trees as we all know how important they are for our planet.”

Devon County Council’s “My tree, my responsibility” campaign, supported by the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum, aims to inform owners of trees to look out for signs of the fungal tree disease and to take any appropriate action in order to maintain public safety.

The Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum was established by Devon County Council in 2016 to consider the long-term approach to tackling the disease. It has been leading on it in partnership with organisations including the Arboricultural Association, Devon AONBs, Clinton Devon Estates, Country Landowners Association, Devon Hedge Group, Devon Wildlife Trust, Dartmoor National Park, East Devon District Council, Forestry Commission, Highways England, National Trust, National Farmers Union, Network Rail, North Devon Council, RSPB, The Tree Council, Torbay Council, Plymouth City Council, and Western Power Distribution.

The County Council is committed to replacing trees lost through Ash dieback. It has adopted a 3-2-1 tree replacement principle, where three saplings will be planted for each mature tree it fells due to Ash dieback, two saplings will replace a semi-mature tree, and one new sapling will be planted for each ash sapling lost. Devon is supporting local parishes to plant trees on highway land if certain criteria is met, such as no visibility splays being obstructed, no underground services exist, the right trees in the right position and long term responsibility for them is picked up by the local parish.

For more information about the scheme on the A386 please email DevonHSM@wsp.com Alternatively, you can write to WSP, Keble House, Southernhay Gardens, Exeter, Devon EX1 1NT marking your correspondence for the attention of ‘Tavistock Road Ash Dieback Enquiries’.

For more information on Ash dieback please visit our webpages.

Posted in: Environment