Tackling Ash Dieback in Surrey this Autumn

Woodland Management and Restoration works

Surrey County Council will undertake a programme of woodland management across its countryside estate this autumn, with a focus on tackling Ash dieback to protect public safety where needed, as well as identifying current and future nature recovery opportunities.

What is Ash dieback?

Ash dieback is caused by a non-native fungus called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus that weakens a tree's structure. Affected trees often see their leaves and branches dying higher up the tree, with the tree becoming weak and unpredictable. The disease is untreatable and therefore needs to be managed correctly to protect the public.

Managing Ash dieback in our county

As England's most wooded county, Surrey is heavily affected by Ash dieback. Infected trees are unpredictable, and so in the interest of public safety we need to fell diseased and dying trees in higher risk areas around the county. Where safe to do so, less diseased Ash trees will be retained with their disease progression monitored.

Environmental impact

A number of measures are being put in place to minimise the impact of necessary works on nature including:

  • Having a qualified ecologist on site throughout the works;
  • Investing in specialist equipment and using specialist contractors to minimise disturbance;
  • Undertaking work outside of ground nesting bird season;
  • Creating new habitats for protected species such as Dormice;
  • Development of new long term woodland plans linked to the Council's nature recovery strategy
  • Replanting or encouraging natural regeneration of suitable tree species wherever appropriate.

Where will felling take place?

Following extensive arboricultural and ecological surveys, works will focus around targeted areas of:

  • Sheepleas (West Horsley),
  • Newlands Corner (near Guildford),
  • Park Ham (near Bletchingley),
  • Norbury Park (Leatherhead/Dorking),
  • Brockham Quarry,
  • Beech Avenue (Effingham) and
  • areas of the Downs Link path.

Planned works are subject to obtaining appropriate licenses, satisfactory survey results and other permissions as required.

Find out more

Visit our Ash dieback webpage for more information.

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