Disease-stricken canalside trees to be felled at Loxwood

A number of trees along the Wey and Arun Canal at Loxwood are to be felled because of a deadly disease.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:37 pm

Native ash trees across Britain have been devastated by ash dieback disease and an expert survey has revealed a number at Loxwood have also been affected.

A spokesperson said: “Dying and dead trees can pose a risk to the public and canal users as their branches become brittle and trunks pappy, making them unstable, so the Wey & Arun Canal Trust brought in an arboricultural expert to survey the Loxwood stretch to identify those trees suffering from ash dieback and create a plan for their safe removal.

“Independent arboricultural consultant Mark Welby inspected the canal from Barnsill Bridge to Gennets Bridge and has provided the trust with a comprehensive guide to the condition of trees in that area.

Tree works at Loxwood

“As a result all ash trees that appear to be in decline as a result of ash dieback have been identified for removal over a three-year period.

“Those that appear to be healthy will be left in the hope some may have a degree of resistance as a small percentage of ash trees will be tolerant to the disease.”

A tree felling licence has been obtained from the Forestry Commission and trust volunteers and contractors will be out along the towpath over the coming winter months.

The spokesperson added: “We aim to keep disruption to a minimum, but please bear with us while we carry out these necessary works.”

Earlier this year more than 100 native saplings were planted along the canal thanks to a donation from the Woodland Trust.

Meanwhile, a full schedule of boat trips is set to run up until November at the wharf in Loxwood and the boat crew are currently gearing up for half-term special Halloween trips on Wednesday October 27 and Sunday October 31 at 12 noon and 2pm.

They are also planning ahead for popular Santa Trips. Bookings for all trips are via the website at www.weyandarun.co.uk