On Saturday 21st August 2021 work is due to begin felling trees which have been infected by ash dieback in the Garden of Remembrance of the Chilterns Crematorium at Amersham.
Buckinghamshire Council discovered through its regular management of the woodland that many of the ash trees there had been affected by the fungal disease, which makes wood brittle and liable to break off or split.
Since then, warning notices have been displayed in the woodlands explaining why the work needs to take place, how the disease is affecting the trees and asking people to beware of branches which have already begun falling.
The Garden of Remembrance surrounds the crematorium where cremation services take place and the woodland has for decades been a place where families scatter the ashes of their loved ones.
The approach taken by Buckinghamshire Council has been designed to minimise any potential disruption or impact on those who regularly visit the site. Tree felling will take place at weekends and times when there are no services or scattering of ashes taking place.
While the diseased trees will be felled, stumps will be left in situ and visible, so as not to disturb the ground and to enable families to find the location where their loved one’s ashes are scattered. Other trees, shrubs and pathways will be protected during the work.
Cllr Nick Naylor, Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness and Regulatory Services at Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘Whilst it is heart-breaking that so many affected ash trees need to be removed, this thinning out will give more space and light to the others and provide a chance to plant new trees that people will appreciate for years to come.
We will be managing everything very carefully, as we understand how much the garden means to so many people who visit regularly to remember loved ones.‘
During spring 2022, new trees will be planted to renew the woodland, with species which thrive in the chalky soil of the Chilterns. The crematorium hopes to involve families who have used its services and local communities to help with the replanting.
After a consultation period, the Forestry Commission has now issued a licence confirming that the affected trees need to be felled, so work can start on the first of some 240 affected trees this weekend and then continuing through until October 2021. A further phase will take place during 2022, subject to a review in the summer.
People will always be able to access the woodlands during the crematorium’s opening hours, but while the work takes places some areas will be cordoned off.
Further information can be found on the news pages of the Chilterns Crematorium website at www.chilternscrematorium.co.uk.
*Source of article : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.