The seasonal felling operations begin this week at Fingle, initially the work will be split over two areas.
The first area is high on the slope behind Willingstone Cottages. The Japanese larch trees in this area are infected with the tree disease Phytophthora ramorum. The Forestry Commission issued a plant health notice (see notice below) in late summer and all the larch trees within a 250m zone of the point of infection are to be felled and this work must be completed before the 31st March 2016. The work in this area will be undertaken by Ryan and Royston who worked in the woods last winter and their small blue and white winch tractor will be there for the next month or so, working alongside the large harvesting machine driven by Paul. This area is currently zoned off to exclude any public access because of the disease. I would ask you avoid this area until the work is complete.
The second area will be along the river near Upperton Wier close to the main riverside access track. The work here is focused on creating more light along the river and favouring the regenerating native hardwood trees. The felling will be undertaken by the National Trust volunteers as part of the chainsaw training. This will be a much smaller scale operation lasting only a few days at a time and were hoping to extract the timber using horses around Christmas and New Year. Do look out for Tom and Dylan who will be supervising the work and ask them about the operation.
Ryan and Roystons’ winch tractor can be seen in the wood again this winter
Pauls large harvesting machine will also be on site
Watch out for Tom Wood National Trust Ranger and his colleague Dylan directing operations down by Upperton Weir.