by Ian Bushell
Our Tree Officer, Rich Murphy, has been running chainsaw monitoring sessions with Clive, Phil and myself to check our competence to fell trees in the reserve. The reserve belongs to the county and they are the people who pay to insure us.
Rich chose the copse with the pizza oven base, in Sheep Field, for the first session. It not only has plenty of varying sized trees in need of removal but it is easy to control approaching walkers because there is only a single main path through the copse. After the required safety briefings and discussion on Risk Assessments, trees for removal were selected.
We used the Friends’ battery operated chainsaws, but Rich’s petrol-run chainsaws were there if we needed them. It was a really interesting morning, the trees that were selected stretched us to use our training with Roland. New techniques were learnt and old ones revisited. We are very much looking forward to the next session with Rich.
We will be undertaking a rolling programme designed to remove those Ash trees that have suffered from Ash-die-back. There are an awful lot of trees to practice on in the reserve; hundreds of ash saplings were planted when the park was first established because Ash is both native and local. Nearly all have succumbed to Ash-die-back and we plan to fell most of those.
We can remove the smaller trees but the more mature ones will have to be felled by contractors. The Friends, however, will be saving the council a considerable sum over time by clearing the copses of immature trees prior to the contractors coming in.
The header image shows the trees marked for cutting