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The tree removal operation is now focused on woodland near to Pashley Road and Cherry Garden Road in the Old Town area.

Ash dieback is the most devastating tree disease since dutch elm disease killed 60 million elm trees in the UK during two epidemics in the 1920s and 1970s.

What is ash dieback?

Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) is the most devastating tree disease since dutch elm disease killed 60 million elm trees in the UK during two epidemics in the 1920s and 1970s.

The disease is changing the profile of the landscape across the UK and will undoubtedly change how we view a span of the downland in Eastbourne.

The disease is spread by an airborne fungus. It attacks the vascular system of trees, killing young trees very quickly and more mature specimens over a longer period.

This video shows very clearly how so much of the tree canopy in woodland between Butts Brow in Willingdon to Meads has turned a deathly grey colour, a sure sign of ash dieback.

The ash dieback epidemic

Over the last 12 months, the deadly airborne fungus has reached and spread rapidly throughout Eastbourne, leaving thousands of trees dead or dying. Currently there is no preventative treatment available. A diseased tree becomes dangerous, with branches or the tree itself at risk of falling onto footpaths, roads and property.

The council is working with the Forestry Commission to remove the trees in Eastbourne that are infected with ash dieback.

Tackling the killer disease

Councils up and down the UK are working with the Forestry Commission to remove trees affected by ash dieback. In Eastbourne, the Forestry Commission has identified the trees that are dead or dying and must be removed.

The main area of woodland affected runs between Butts Brow in Willingdon to Meads (click to enlarge map).

Accordingly, we have developed a long-term plan in liaison with the Forestry Commission that will see felling begin in early December 2019. The whole project will take up to five years to complete.

Once cut, the diseased timber will be taken to a biomass facility. The council will receive payments from the energy generator for the timber that will broadly offset the cost of the overall project.

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