While many people are looking at the weather forecasts for winter and bracing themselves for a lot of damage, some parts of the country have already experienced hardship and difficulties due to challenging weather conditions. This has led to many people getting to work in clearing up their local area and in Ludlow, many volunteers have been on hand to improve the look and safety of the area after the storms of October.
There is a volunteer group caring for Whitcliffe Common in this part of the country and the October storms has seen them called into action. In fact, there has also been a need to call on the experts for support and assistance; such was the need to carry out urgent safety work. The main issue was caused by high winds with a number of trees being significantly damaged.
Opinion was sought from a local tree surgeon
The damage to one ash tree was so bad that the group had to inform the local council and request permission for the tree to be felled. This saw the Friends of Whitcliffe Common contacting Shropshire Council Environment department due to concerns to pedestrians would be placed in jeopardy due to the storm damage. The tree lies on the route of one of the most commonly used paths in the area and there is always a need to ensure people are kept safe.
This led to a tree surgeon from Shropshire Wildlife attending the area and a case was put forward to have the tree removed. The findings of the tree surgeon and images of the tree were placed in front of the council and this resulted in immediate permission being granted to have the tree removed for reasons of safety.
While there would have been some people who wouldn’t have been happy with this decision, a spokesperson for the Natural Environment Team of Shropshire Council said that the only option they had was to fell the tree. The ash tree was deemed to be of imminent danger and this meant that the standard conservation area notification guidelines were overlooked.
The tree surgeon was assisted by seven members of the Friends of Whitcliffe Common to take down the tree and then ensure that the area was cleaned up. Some of the trunk has been left in place, which will be of benefit to the local wildlife and some of the smaller branches were cut into wood which has been passed to senior citizens in the local area. This is an example of where good news and positivity in the local community can from a difficult situation.
While a tree surgeon would prefer for a tree to remain in place, there are times when public safety is a far more pressing issue than the condition of a tree or not. With many people fearing that the weather will be difficult this winter, it could be that there will be many decisions of this nature across the country.