Ash dieback management

Ash dieback is a fungal disease which weakens treetops and branches, making trees unsafe. Over the coming years, this will result in a loss of around 80% of all ash trees in the UK and trees in our area are affected.

Not only can ash dieback kill the tree, it can also create cracks and damage that leave the tree open to other fungus, such as honey fungus, which then rapidly accelerates the decline of the tree.

Across the country, there is ongoing work to ensure that all trees are as safe as possible, and the work that is due to start in North Northamptonshire has been carefully considered, following national guidance, consultation with experts and with due diligence.

Our response

We are going to remove any trees in areas which pose a high health and safety risk or that have the potential to fall and damage other trees.

Areas impacted

Instead of mass felling, we are taking a considered approach and removing individual, infected trees from King’s Wood Local Nature Reserve, Irchester Country Park and East Carlton Countryside Park.

One silver lining is that through the removal of these trees, sunlight will reach the woodland floor and encourage new growth, supporting butterflies and other invertebrates.

This management process will not only make the woodland safer, but it will also make it more diverse and encourage a wider variety of wildlife in the area.


Felled diseased timber is not a threat to other species, but will have a high habitat value. Timber will be cut down into 1 to 2 metre lengths and stacked up to create a log pile. By doing this we create a small habitat providing a microclimate for wildlife, such as newts, invertebrates, and small mammals. The piles also create a safe space for hibernation.

We are Woodsure approved and felled timber can be split, seasoned, and sold as firewood creating income for conservation projects. It may also be repurposed by our education rangers to lead fire lighting or cooking activities with school groups.

Last updated 27 September 2023