Demystifying tree felling
Why are they cutting down that tree? There's nothing wrong with it! We want to debunk the myth that felling is a negative practice.
Our resident expert, Ashley Wheal, has provided a few different factors that result in tree felling and the reasons why.
• First and foremost, safety is our priority. We must ensure that visitors walking around the Park are kept safe from any potential falling branches, as well as cars in car parks. Some tree branches, when reaching a certain age, begin to fragment such as poplars around 40 years. Because of this, it's our responsibility to manage these areas and be proactive to make sure it doesn't get to that point.
• We also manage land close to houses, so anything from leaves in the gutters to subsidence has to be considered, as well as the Caravan Site and other buildings we are responsible for.
• Removal of natural regeneration is often required. These are smaller trees produced by seeds from larger trees nearby. They are not planted by us but can grow as big as the tree they came from. They often need to be removed because they are too close to others…
• …which leads nicely onto the next reason - thinning. Thinning is performed to create bigger and better trees. Trees require distance as our Ranger, Gary, here kindly demonstrates!
• There is often a change of plan, where trees have been planted no longer fit in later down the line. This can also be a hindrance for wildlife as they act as predator cover. For example, we found on the Bringing Nature Closer project on Heron Meadows, that it's better for breeding birds when the trees aren't there.
So when the trees have been felled, do we replant? Absolutely. Once trees have reached a certain age, they are simply replaced with better ones that last longer and are better for wildlife. Our staff and Nene Park Volunteers do the hard work and often when the trees are removed, a bigger quantity are planted to replace them. You'll see safety posters around the Park when tree work is taking place, with reasons why the work is being carried out - so keep your eyes peeled!