What ash dieback is, what we’re doing about ash trees in our parks, what you need to do if you have ash trees on your land.

What is ash dieback

Ash dieback is:

  • a fungal disease affecting common ash trees
  • causing widespread decline of ash trees across the UK and Europe
  • spread from fungal spores carried by the wind, so very little can be done to prevent further spread

Most parts of the UK are experiencing ash dieback, including Warwick district.  Infected trees can become weaker and there’s an increased risk of falling branches or trees.  Other tree diseases can also take hold and have a further impact.

We have ash trees throughout many of woodlands including Newbold Comyn, Oakley Wood and St. Marys Lands (northern enclosure).

Read about ash dieback on GOV.UK.

What we're doing about ash dieback

We need to understand:

  • where trees in our parks are infected
  • where the public could potentially be at increased risk of harm

We carry out tree inspection on our land, to understand:

  • where ash trees exist
  • to what degree ash trees are affected
  • the rate of decline

We then programme works to remove any diseased trees to ensure people are safe to access our woodlands. This includes ash trees near paths, roads, or housing to prevent potential damage to property and traffic.

What happens during and after the work

Branch wood will be left on-site, mostly to feed (habitat stacks and dead hedging) nutrients back into the area.

We'll remove all tree stems from the site where possible. There may be areas where this is not possible and large pieces of timber will remain (such as steep banks and limited areas of access for machinery). This can look untidy, but it has ecological benefits.

We may have to remove some non-ash trees for the following reasons:

  • to gain access
  • if we see they’re in poor condition
  • if they’re Elm trees and diseased

The ash trees in some locations are difficult to remove without using machinery. This means we may need to remove other tree species to gain access to these areas. Some young ash trees not showing signs of ash dieback will be left and observed for resistance.

Best practices guidance and wildlife regulations are being observed. The ecological impact of these works is being carefully considered and minimised as much as possible.  

Advice for landowners

You should check if you have any ash trees on your property, The Woodland Trust provide information on how to do this.

If you have ash trees on your property in Warwick district, it’s likely:

  • they’re affected by ash dieback already
  • they’ll be affected by ash dieback in the near future

You’re not required by law to remove ash trees affected by ash dieback, unless they pose a risk to others. As a landowner, you may be held responsible if your trees fall and cause damage or injury.

Getting your trees inspected

Depending on the size of your property, the number of trees and proximity to roads and footpaths, you may wish to have your trees inspected by an expert.

The Arboriculture Association gives advice on choosing a professional. You should follow their advice and keep records of any inspections and works completed.

If you’re advised to remove a tree, you should check whether the tree is:

  • subject to a tree preservation order, or
  • part of a conservation area

Email planning.enforcement@warwickdc.gov.uk for more information.

Find further guidance for land and tree owners and a leaflet about managing ash dieback on GOV.UK.