Bisley-with-Lypiatt Parish Council Tree Management Policy August 2019
Two concerns drive the rationale for this policy:
- Climate Change: Tree-planting in England fell short of targets in 2018 despite government promises to restore/plant new woodland across the country to combat climate change. Only 1,420 hectares of trees were planted in England in the year to March 2019, against the government’s target of 5,000 hectares in the period. Currently farmers do not get support for tree planting.
- Ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea): Ash is arguably the most important tree in Gloucestershire for woods and hedgerows. It can host 953 wildlife species (after oak and beech). Gloucestershire’s landscape will change irrevocably. Bisley Parish is already noticeably affected.
The Parish Council needs to adopt a Policy that does more than replace its own trees, but initiates planting schemes on its own land, and works with others to do the same.
Where the loss of trees is unavoidable on Parish Council land, adequate replacement provision will be required to replant species that are in sympathy with the character of the existing tree species in the locality and the site. If there is inadequate room on the site, then agreement for replacement planting is required on an alternative site.
Whilst this policy applies to all land owned by the Parish Council, we encourage all landowners, individuals and businesses in the Parish to follow our lead, in part to mitigate against the landscape changes that are already taking place in this area.
Furthermore, the Parish Council seeks opportunities on its own land, and collaborations with other landowners such as individuals, farmers, Highways and others, on which to plant more trees, and it will support community planting initiatives such as community orchards.
- SDC’s Tree Management Policy includes the idea of trees contributing to the ‘wellbeing’ of the community: SDC Tree Management Policy
- Cotswold AONB land management for woodlands
- The revised NPPF now provides protection for ancient woodlands with an exception for nationally significant infrastructure projects. Hedgerows are protected by the 1997 Hedgerows Act but will suffer because of ash dieback: countryside hedgerows regulation and management.
- Forestry Commission advice on The management of individual ash trees affected by ash dieback