Vigo and Blagdon Woods affected by Ash dieback

Vigo and Blagdon woods are the latest locations to be affected by a deadly disease running rampant in Ash tress across the country and beyond.

The disease is known as Ash dieback and experts believe 95% of UK trees will be lost to it this decade.

Natasha Clarke, Environment Manger at Bristol Water, said: “Just like we’re facing our own pandemic with the new lockdown restrictions this month, so are Ash trees with a deadly fungal disease called Ash dieback.

“It’s very saddening. To reduce the impact to the woodlands, we will be removing trees in the very late stages of the disease, where there is a risk of the tree falling and harming people, property and wildlife – particularly in our current strong autumn winds.”

As part of this work, a 4-week closure will be in place at Vigo Woods on the Old Bristol Road from this week to safely remove the trees.

The fungal disease causes trees to gradually weaken to the point that they inevitably fall.

Signs of Ash dieback include black blotches on leaves, wilting, and small lens shaped lesions on the bark of stems or branches.

To protect nature, Bristol Water have installed hundreds of door mice boxes and carried out wildlife surveys for the last 3 months in preparation.

While a tree replanting programme will kick in next year, the ground will need to recover naturally before new trees can be planted.

Members of the public can report concerns about the health of trees on the Forest Research TreeAlert site.