Tragedy in the Fishpool Valley.

This Spring (2019) it seemed to me that the Ash Trees were very late and struggling to come into leaf. By late Summer it was evident that Ash Dieback had really taken a hold and infected the majority of the trees in the Valley. Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea) is predicted to decimate the Ash trees in Britain much like the Dutch Elm disease of the 1960s.

As the disease progresses the trees in the valley will become weakened and so most of them will need to come down. There are Ash Trees on and close to the recently restored dams that risk causing damage to the work already completed. The necessary felling of Ash has already begun. It is always sad to see trees being felled but in the valley, frequented by visitors and locals, it is a case of safety first.

By Spring 2020 the valley floor will look very different and whilst there was a plan to reduce the tree canopy systematically over a five year period, Ash Dieback has forced the issue somewhat. That said photographs of the valley in 1925 show the valley floor clear of trees and if you look today there are really very few that are much older than 80years.

 

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John Parsons