Published on 28th April 2022

A picture of a large ash tree with blue sky behind

In response to the national ‘Ash dieback’ crisis, a number of trees on Leckhampton Hill have been found to be diseased and need to be removed.

This forms part of the ongoing review and assessment of Ash tree stock across the council’s land ownership

Ash dieback is a serious disease that attacks ash trees, quickly damaging a tree’s limbs and causes them to become brittle and unsafe. The diseased trees have an increased risk of collapsing, so it’s important to manage impacted tree stock. There is currently no prevention or treatment.

Tracey Birkinshaw, director of planning at Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “We have been closely monitoring the spread of Ash dieback in Cheltenham and the most significant impact is on Leckhampton Hill. 

“Our trees officers are working with the Forestry Commission, The Woodland Trust and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the Friends of Leckhampton Hill (FOLK); our felling programme begins next month through the busiest pedestrian areas on Leckhampton Hill.

“We very much hope that there will be some natural regeneration of native and naturalised tree species after the felling, and so a replanting programme will be decided once we have been able to establish the extent of the regeneration.”

The first phase will be carried out from Daisybank Road car park upwards towards the lime kiln remains and along the woodland path southwest towards and under the Devils Chimney. All ash trees within ten metres of the main paths will be taken down.

Work will run from 9 to 20 May 2022 and it will be essential to close some footpaths to the public during this time. Both car parks along Daisybank Road will also be closed from 9 to 13 May.

For further information on ash dieback see the Forestry Commission website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/managing-ash-dieback-in-england.

For more information on the work, please contact our trees team, email trees@cheltenham.gov.uk.


For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 264154, email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk.

Notes:

Many of the felled trees’ trunks and branches will be chipped and either sprayed on to the woodland floor or reused in other parks. The timber will be made safe/ stacked and left to decay as habitat piles or removed from site. In some cases felled trees will be left in situ to help protect saplings from browsing mammals.