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Tree Felling at Goyt Valley to combat disease

Updated 3rd December 2020

Tree felling is taking place at Goyt Valley. Larch trees in a large area are being felled in response to an outbreak of the tree disease Phytophthora Ramorum (P Ramorum). Cutting down the trees is important to help prevent the disease spreading and killing other trees and plants. The felling has to happen legally as the area has been served with a Statutory Plant Health Notice. 

P Ramorum is a non-native, fungus-like organism first discovered in the UK in 2002. It causes disease on trees, shrubs and plants in woodland, heathland, gardens and nurseries. Infection happens when spores are dispersed in moisture, including moist air currents so it’s essential that affected trees are removed to prevent more spores being produced. Larch trees are known as the worst transmitter of the disease but sweet chestnut and rhododendron are also included in the plant health notice and will also be removed.

The areas affected will be re-planted with tree species that are resilient to the disease to help keep a healthy forest in Goyt Valley for generations to come. Timber from the felled trees will be used where possible for construction, fencing materials, pallet wood and biomass. The work will begin in the next few weeks and is a medium- to long-term project and during this time areas of car parking may be temporarily closed and rights of way restricted to keep the public safe during felling.  

Local forester for Forestry England, Adam Stirling, explains:

“We have been served a Statutory Plant Health Notice on Goyt Valley, so we must remove every larch tree along with some sweet chestnut and rhododendron from the plantation. We have started felling work and we are working closely with our contractors to fix the ground as much as possible and allow the public to safely access the affected areas once again. Hopefully, our quick action means that we will prevent the further spread of P Rramorum to other woodlands and reduce the overall impact on the local countryside.

“For a while areas of the site will look different, but it will soon green up again. Our thanks go to visitors to Goyt Valley in advance for their understanding and urge them to follow safety notices and diversions. Forestry work can be dangerous.”