We are currently carrying out work to remove trees with Ash Dieback, which is a notifiable disease.

Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “Torbay Council has a duty to mitigate its liability with regard to Ash Dieback – the longer you leave diseased trees the higher the risk, hence the urgent work currently taking place. In the wider Devon area, more than 90% of Devon’s native ash trees are expected to be lost due to Ash dieback in the next five to 15 years.

“Throughout the work that is being carried out by Hi-Line, a qualified ecologist is on site to advise workers during tree felling and pruning works to help reduce the likelihood of works harming wildlife. A watching brief is provided where birds could be nesting for example, to help avoid disturbing any, or where mammals or amphibians could be foraging or commuting to help avoid harming them.”

The ecologist will be keeping records of progress for auditing, deliver ‘toolbox' talks’ to ensure operatives are aware of their legal obligations under wildlife law, and they can also help provide instant ecological advice if required. The Ecologist will also liaise with members of the public and communicate with the Police Wildlife Liaison officer.

It is estimated that over the next two years between 1000 to 2000 trees in the bay on council owned land will need to be removed from high risk areas (of risk to public and property). The Council is also working hard to secure funding to replace as many lost trees as possible.

Other landowners are also being advised to tackle Ash Dieback on their property as part of the ‘My Tree, My Responsibility’ campaign and you can find out more about this on our Ash Dieback web page

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