This is why 50 trees in Brighton must be chopped down
Around 50 trees in Brighton’s Coldean Woods need to be removed after the discovery of a large outbreak of elm disease in the area, the council has said.
Work to remove the trees will begin on Wednesday 4 August and is expected to take between three and five days.
The council said it was ‘a huge loss to the city’s National Elm Collection’.
Elm disease can spread very quickly so the removal of infected needs to be done as quickly as possible to control the infection spreading further to neighbouring trees.
The trees are on and around the site of the Homes for Brighton & Hove low cost housing development in Coldean Lane.
The infection was found during a visit to the site by the council’s arboricultural team.
The tree-felling will be carried out to Natural England guidelines, with a qualified ecologist on site to supervise the work and minimise any disturbance to wildlife.
Councillor Amy Heley, chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee, said: “This is devastating news and we are very sorry about the further loss of trees in a woodland so recently affected by Ash Dieback.
“It’s very important to remove these infected elms as quickly as possible to protect the other elms in the area as much as possible.
“It’s some consolation that 200 new trees, including 40 elms, will be planted as part of the development of new low cost housing on the site.
“The control of Elm Disease is an ongoing tree management issue in the city.
“Thanks to the brilliant work of our arboricultural team, we have a long and successful history of protecting elms in Brighton & Hove, and hold the National Elm Collection.
“We’ve lost a number of important elms to elm disease over recent years and to lose this many in one go is terrible.
“You can help control elm disease by reporting dying elms to our arboricultural team. We will also inspect firewood and timber free of charge to remove any potentially infected elm logs.”
There are badger setts within the woodland affected and this caused a slight delay while ecologists were consulted to make sure all measures were in place to protect badgers, according to the council.
The setts in the area affected have been closely monitored and there are no signs of recent use, the council said.
Steps will be taken to ensure badgers do not start re-using the sets to protect them during the development.
One lane of the road will need to be closed so the trees near Coldean Lane can be removed safely.
Traffic lights will be in place from Wednesday 4 August while work takes place.