Works continues to remove trees affected by ash dieback disease in Carmarthenshire

Work is continuing throughout Carmarthenshire to remove council owned diseased ash trees affecting the highway.

Specialist contractors have recently been carrying out felling works throughout the night on the A4138 Hendy link road to remove dead and dying trees that pose a risk to road users and pedestrians.

Ash dieback is a fungal disease, it spreads from the leaves through to the branches, causing the tree to die. Dead branches and entire dead trees can become very brittle and fall, posing a serious risk to the public.

Landowners with diseased trees are reminded it is their responsibility under the Occupiers’ liability Act 1957 and 1984, and the Highways Act 1980 to ensure their trees do not pose an unacceptable risk to people and property whilst ensuring they comply with the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in respect of the avoidance of harm to birds their eggs and nests.

Where private trees are deemed an imminent threat and landowners have already been contacted by the authority, they are now being served with a Legal Notice to remove the trees.  Failure to comply with the notice will lead to the authority removing the risk and charging the tree owner for the work.

The council has a legal duty under the Highways Act to keep roads safe for users and ash dieback is a serious issue for both the council and landowners.

It is a dangerous and specialised job and the council have employed qualified and experienced tree surgeons to complete this work.

Carmarthenshire County Council Director for Environment, Ainsley Williams, said: “Unfortunately we have had to start serving legal notices on landowners who have failed to remove these diseased trees. We have a legal duty under the Highways Act to keep our roads safe for users and ash dieback is a serious issue for both the council and landowners. Landowners should also ensure that they comply with the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in respect of the avoidance of harm to birds their eggs and nests when planning to remove them.”

Carmarthenshire County Council is also pushing forward with its tree planting program to help mitigate against some of the losses.

Recently 120 trees have been planted at the Parc Dewi Sant site in Carmarthen with plans to plant more later this year.

Preparations for tree planting are also underway at other large sites in the county.

Information on diseased ash trees can be found on the council’s website.  carmarthenshire.gov.wales/ashdieback

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