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On Wednesday 11 December pollarding work will take place in the Park to try and prolong the life of one of our great Elm trees at the front of the Visitor Centre in Ferry Meadows.  This work may also continue through to Thursday 12 December.

Originally a group of four, these veteran Elm trees have been in position for 148 years, despite Dutch Elm disease ravaging a significant proportion of the Elm population back in the 70s and 80s. These trees are vital habitats for wildlife such as the White-Letter Hairstreak butterfly, which, as the Elms have declined, has become a rare species itself.

The Park Management Team have worked hard over the years to nurture and care for our Elms by carrying out daily visual checks for signs of disease and undertaking remedial surgery to remove dead or infected wood.

Unfortunately, we are finally losing the battle with these beleaguered trees. We lost one tree to Dutch Elm disease last year and now sadly another one has succumbed. 

The Park Management Team are working to try and prolong the life of this Elm tree by carrying out pollarding works on 11 December to remove the upper branches, and we are keeping our fingers crossed this will give it a fighting chance.  This work is an absolute necessity as the large branches will become brittle and unsafe once the tree is dead.

The area around the tree will be sectioned off whilst the work is carried out, however this should not affect accessibility for our visitors.  The Wildlife Garden is likely to be closed during this time but the Visitor Centre & Gift Shop will not be affected.

We will be keeping a close eye on this tree and the other two remaining Elms will continue to be managed and monitored. If the pollarding fails we plan to create a sculpture from the tree similar to the ‘Sentinel’ at the entrance to the Park as a way of celebrating these long cared for trees.

Thank you for your understanding.  If you have any questions please contact the team on 01733 234193.

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