Great Aycliffe Town Council recognise the enormous contribution trees make to the character of the parish, both in terms of landscape and wildlife value.
The Council also recognise that although trees are a positive feature, they can cause a range of problems from being a nuisance or inconvenience to potentially causing serious injury or even death.
As ‘tree owners’ the Council have a responsibility to ensure our trees are managed appropriately. Great Aycliffe Town Council’s Tree Management Policy sets out our approach to tree management.
Since its confirmation in the UK in 2012, Ash Dieback has been rapidly spreading across the country. Earlier this year it was confirmed in Aycliffe and many ash trees are now showing typical signs of the disease.
The disease, which is spread by infectious fungal spores affects the entire tree and results in rapid die back and likely death of the affected tree.
As a parish, Aycliffe has a higher percentage of mature ash compared to many areas of the UK and so is likely to be affected greater than most.
Current national guidance suggests that there is little that can be done to halt the natural spread of Ash Dieback and the best course of action for land owners is to monitor their ash tree stocks to ensure that the trees remain safe to the public; effectively managing a staged decline of any affected trees.
Great Aycliffe Town Council would like to reassure residents that they are taking this problem seriously. They are in the process of mapping substantial mature ash trees within their ownership in prominent locations, so that the safety of the trees can be monitored and appropriate actions taken when required.
In addition, the Town Council will replace any tree that is required to be felled with a minimum of three more appropriate tree species that will not be affected by the Ash Dieback.