Notice of planned removal of trees affected by ash dieback in Chappetts Copse Nature Reserve

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will be carrying out tree felling work in the northern end of Chappetts Copse Nature Reserve over the upcoming months from this week.

We are removing the trees because many of the ash trees in the woodland have been killed by ash dieback disease. Contractors will be removing ash trees from the northern end of the woodland, extracting timber via Coombe Lane.

Arcadian Ecology & Consultancy Ltd have carried out ecological surveys of the area where felling is taking place. Following their advice, the Trust have ensured there will be no long-term negative impacts on wildlife from the felling and in the future more space for wildlife will be created. Permission for the felling was granted by the Forestry Commission.

The woodland is currently in decline due to ash dieback but we hope that in the years to come the space created by felling the dying trees will allow the woodland to regenerate and wildlife to flourish. Species expected to benefit from the new-growth trees include dormice, great spotted woodpecker and tawny owls.

Once tree felling work is complete the Trust will install a new formal access point by the River Meon, giving pedestrians easy access to the woodland. This new footpath will link with the existing ride in the south.

Ash dieback disease is a fungal infection spread by spores which causes tree death in up to 95% of cases. Infected trees become brittle and unstable, posing a serious health and safety risk. Where possible the Trust will leave infected trees to die and rot naturally, in the hope this will encourage resistance to the disease. However, as in this case, leaving trees is not always possible and sometimes they must be removed.

There will be signage on site to notify walkers of start dates and restricted areas while work takes place, including the northern section of the woodland which will be closed during felling. 

The Trust would ask that everyone follows the information provided on the signage to keep themselves, site workers and the wildlife on the nature reserve safe.