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advice on a small semi ancient woodland with ash dieback


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Hi,

 

Firstly contact your woodland officer and talk through your plans. then my advice is to get a felling license, it's free! so why not?

You may also qualify for a grant to replace the Ash trees.

you don't need a management plan to obtain a felling license, but if you apply through countryside stewardship for a £1000 grant, it will come with a 10 year felling license.

 

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Another thing to put in here, the rules are, you are able to harvest 5 cubic meters per calendar quarter if your are using the wood for yourself. Otherwise it is 2 cubic meters. 

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12 hours ago, Ford said:

Firstly contact your woodland officer and talk through your plans. then my advice is to get a felling license, it's free! so why not?

You may also qualify for a grant to replace the Ash trees.

you don't need a management plan to obtain a felling license, but if you apply through countryside stewardship for a £1000 grant, it will come with a 10 year felling license.

 

My mistake, as you say you don't need a management plan. I think I was expected to do one as the grant for them was just introduced. If you just apply for a felling licence you don't need to pay for it but someone has to still complete it, measure up the trees in the woodland etc? Time is money and all that. I would say a management plan is worth doing. With a felling licence you are likely to have replant and management obligations for 10 years.

 

As for the exemptions, worth studying the docs here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tree-felling-getting-permission you can fell 5 cube a quarter as long as no more than 2 is sold. There are other exemptions as well.

 

Edited by Paul in the woods
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Felled ash within a shelterbelt running alongside a public right of way about the same size recently, the owner marked everything with 50% or more ash dieback and obtained a felling licence to clover the removal of those trees and a bit more. All trees marked were removed in one go. No planting, operation treated as thinning. All firewood removed down to 10cm.

Edited by Vedhoggar
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Felling ash dieback affected trees needs a felling licence. It is clearly written here and was quoted before:

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/managing-ash-dieback-in-england#guidance-for-land-managers-and-tree-owners

 

Second sentence. Unless you have a tree survey clearly identifiying the trees that are immediate risk to property or life etc. Most woodland officers will read that as the exemption only applies to anything that is urgent i.e. 1 months or less otherwise they want a licence. Someone should challenge it as the interpretation varies wildly between officers.

 

The licence free allowance only includes 5m3 per calendar quarter as long as no more than 2m3 is sold. Per woodland property and not per owner. On the last day of March one can fell 5m3 then on the first day of April another 5m3. Anything less than 8cm in diameter at 1.3m does not need a licence.

 

1-2 acres will not qualify for a funded management plan as the minimum area is 3 hectares about 7.5 acres. You can do an unfunded one but it would not be very economic.

 

Tips about just fell it one by one/leave stems standing: as long as within the 5m3 allowance no problem but unlikely to remove the safety risk. Do not think, however, that you can get away with it as there is a footpath, people will report any felling (COVID fatigue) and the FC will use Google maps to compare years. The latter is updated several times a year and changes are easy to track.

 

You need a felling licence, footpath closure while doing the work and I suggest employing a professional to get you the right licence while ensuring there are no other factors you need to consider and account for (designations, critters, TPO and the like). Depending on the type of felling replanting might be stipulated by the licence.

 

Good luck!

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