British Camp car park will be closed for essential tree safety works next week.
On Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th January, contractors engaged by Malvern Hills Trust will be removing trees around the car park for public safety. During this time, the car park will be closed to visitors to enable the felling and removal of diseased trees to be undertaken safely.
The work follows a routine tree safety inspection by an independent, qualified arboriculturalist who identified a number of trees requiring attention.
Beck Baker, Community and Conservation Officer said "Sadly, ash dieback disease has been found in a number of the trees around the very popular British Camp car park. An infection from this fungus causes the decline and, in 80% of cases, the death of infected ash trees. For public safety we will be removing the most severely infected trees."
Ash dieback, which was first identified in the UK in 2012, has spread across the country and causes the wilting of leaves, shoots to die back and often the death of the tree.
Infected trees can become brittle and are likely to fail so the removal of severely infected trees near to highways and properties is essential. It is believed that a small percentage of ash trees may be tolerant to the disease and ash trees on the Trust's estate showing little or no signs of disease will be left and monitored.
Beck added "We ask that people avoid the area of British Camp on these two days and apologise in advance for the disruption caused whilst the works are underway. The nearby car park at Black Hill will remain open. We ask that visitors take heed of any signage in place in the area and follow instructions from contractors for their own safety."
In addition to the works at British Camp, tree safety management will be undertaken this winter in a number of locations including Holywell Road and the Wyche Road.
Beck added "As a charity with 1,200 hectares of land under the Trust's care, we are facing huge financial pressures as the disease takes hold and more practical management is needed in response. Many of the ash trees are on steep slopes near to roadsides, requiring specialist and experience contractors to safely remove them . This is expensive work at approximately £400 per tree."
The Trust are asking local people to report ash trees on the Trust's land which are badly affected and are near to highways or properties. The Trust is also asking for donations to help support the response to this devastating tree disease.