I am writing to let you know that we will be starting work Stockhill Wood tomorrow, where we will be removing diseased larch trees. Although these operations may not directly affect parish residents, I wanted to let you know that they may have a visual impact on the landscape.
We are legally required to carry out this work because areas of the forest are suffering from Phytophthora ramorum, a destructive tree disease which is affecting many of the nation’s larch trees. Phytophthora ramorum is harmless to people and animals, but highly infectious and harmful to trees and some other plant species.
I have attached a map to explain where we will be working. In areas highlighted red, there is a high density of infected trees and they will all be removed. Altogether, these areas total around 29 hectares. We are obliged to remove these trees as soon as possible to help manage the spread of Phytophthora ramorum.
Our climate is changing, bringing new threats to our trees, and we need to build resilience within our forests. With this in mind, we are already planning how we will restock these felled areas with a diverse range of tree species that will thrive in the climate conditions we expect in 2050 and beyond.
I would be grateful if you would be able to share this information through your news channels. We understand that communities may be upset at the change in their countryside and we are keen to explain why this felling is essential for the health of the nation’s forests.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Best wishes, Siân Brewer
Community Ranger, Bristol and Savernake, Forestry England