Dallington Forest Walk #1

Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy (Tree Champion, Dallington and Brighton): We may not be able to restart group walks for a while due to COVID-19, so I’ve started putting together self-guided walks in the forest for people to use at their leisure. This is the first of (hopefully) many so I would really value your feedback on content, presentation and whether you found it helpful in guiding your walk.

Dallington Forest Walk No. 1 Ancient Forest Ghyll, Hollow Ways and the PoW Tree

Map of walkOn this walk you will experience one of Dallington Forest’s ancient woodland ghylls full of majestic veteran Beech trees, prehistoric rippled sandstone beds and the Prisoner of War tree, and also hollow ways formed by the feet of many millennia of travellers.

In Spring the ancient woodland ghyll is full of the sight and scent of stunningly beautiful bluebells and ransoms (wild garlic).  The starting and finishing point is the end of the metalled surface of Bakers Lane, Dallington. This is also the junction of three footpaths and a bridleway. Unfortunately, there is no car park here or in Dallington Forest and the nearest public parking is the lay-by on the B2096 at Wood Corner.

Download the full walk with map and descriptions:   Dallington Forest Walk 1

Length: 3.2 km (2 mi) [includes 1.5 km round-trip from/to car-parking]
Level of difficulty for people in normal health:

      • Under 50 yrs = Easy; you’ll hardly notice it
      • 50 – 60 yrs = Good exercise; it’ll raise your heart rate
      • 60 – 70 yrs = Taxing; you’ll know you’ve done it
      • Over 70 yrs = Quite challenging

Thinking of planting trees or hedgerows?

[Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy]

Map showing Dallington Forest Project Area
Map showing Dallington Forest Project Area

Have you been thinking about planting some woodland or hedges on your land?

Our beautiful AONB in the High Weald is characterised by interlinked pockets of ancient woodland and small irregular-shaped fields and it is important to maintain and enhance this as much as possible. So, of course, it has to be ‘the right trees in the right places’.

Your Brightling and Dallington Tree Champion is seeking landowners with suitable land in Brightling and Dallington parishes that falls within the Dallington Forest Project area (see map above – larger version at end of this post) for planting-up of small woodlands or hedges. Dallington parishioner Jamie Simpson has a source of funding for the supply of native trees together with the necessary protection from rabbits and deer. The cost to landowners would be for planting labour and follow up aftercare necessary for successful establishment.

Suitable planting projects would be:

    • Creating new woodlands (with the proviso that important grassland or heathland habitat is not damaged or destroyed)
    • Creating new woodland to link existing pockets of ancient woodland
    • Filling gaps in neglected or poor condition hedges to restore them
    • Replacing some of the enormous number of hedges that were removed in the 20th century’s drive for bigger agricultural fields

Planted trees/hedges must be able to be appreciated by the public, so must be within sight of a road, right of way or on public land. Grants need to be applied-for during the summer so that the funding is available for an autumn/winter planting project.

If you are interested in this project please contact me as soon as possible.

Doug Edworthy, Tree Champion, Brightling & Dallington Parish Councils  treewarden@dallington.org.uk 07711 090925

Map showing Dallington Forest P
Map showing Dallington Forest Project Area

 

DALLINGTON FOREST WALK NO.1

Our Tree Warden is obviously not doing guided walks in Dallington Forest at present due to the lockdown.
So he is putting together some self-guided walks in the forest for people to use at their leisure.
Click on the link below for the first one

Forest Walk No.1

Our Tree Warden would really value you feedback on its content, presentation and whether you found it helpful in guiding your walk.
You can contact him on – treewarden@dallington.org.uk

 

Rare Black poplar trees looking for a planting place

(Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy):

Rare Black poplar trees looking for a planting place

Photograph of black poplar leaves
Image credit; © Copyright Robin Stott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Our tree Warden, Doug Edworthy, has had a great response from people willing to have one of the rare (and free) Black poplar plants growing on their land.

Due to the generosity of Wakehurst Place (the Kew Gardens outstation where clones of the remaining Black poplar strains are being cultivated) we have six plants more than we have planting places!

These Populus nigra betulifolia can live for up to 200 years and grow to 30 m (100 feet) high. They are the food plant for the caterpillars of many moths, including the hornet, wood leopard, poplar hawk and figure of eight. The catkins provide an early source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects, and the seeds are eaten by birds.

Doug is looking for land that is boggy or wet, close to a watercourse or on a floodplain owned by someone who would value having one of our rarest trees on their land.  If possible, a planting position within sight of a road or public right-of-way would be preferred so they are visible to the public.

They must all be planted by the beginning of March before bud-burst so please get in touch with me urgently if you are interested. Contact details at the end of this message.

To protect the trees from deer and rabbits, and ensure their best start in life, Doug will provide netting, stakes, rabbit guards, tree-ties, mulch and other planting accessories which he has purchased himself, so he would be grateful if the landowner could reimburse these costs at £20.44 per tree.

Also, any help to dig holes and erect fencing would be gratefully received as a total of 29 trees need planting before March.

Email treewarden@dallington.org.uk
Mobile 07711 090 925
Tel 01435 830195

Black Poplar (Poplus Nigra ssp. Betulifolia) planting

Our Dallington Tree Warden has ten betulifolia whips (gender unknown) for planting before next spring.
He is currently searching for suitable planting sites and willing landowners – these trees need damp conditions.  If you are interested please contact him at treewarden@dallington.org.uk
Click on the link below for more information about this rare and beautiful tree.
https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/black-poplar/

 

Urgent message from Tree Council/Defra regarding oak trees

Message from the Tree Council and Defra forwarded via our tree warden, Doug Edworthy.

Tree Council logo“Dear Tree Wardens,
We’ve been asked by colleagues at Defra for your help with an urgent tree health matter concerning recent outbreaks of Oak Processionary Moth.

If you know anyone who has recently planted larger oaks (as defined in the press notice below) imported from the continent, Defra is requesting that they check these trees for OPM, and report any findings to Tree Alert. At this time of year, you are most likely to notice the hairy-looking caterpillar or web-like nests – please do not touch either as they could potentially be harmful to your health. Please find further guidance from Defra below, and for more information on the moth and its identification, visit Observatree or Forest Research. Thank you for your help in this important matter. Warm regards, The Tree Council Team”

———-

Copy of Press Notice:

“Horticulture industry urged to check for Oak Processionary Moth

Landscapers, nurseries, landowners and woodland managers are being urged to take action after the Plant Health Service intercepted a number of cases of Oak Processionary Moth caterpillars (OPM) on trees imported from the Netherlands.

Anyone who has planted larger oaks (defined below) imported from the continent should urgently check their trees for OPM and report any findings to TreeAlert. It is vital that these trees are checked now to minimise the spread of this damaging tree pest and protect the health of our oak trees.

OPM is an established pest in parts of London and surrounding areas, but the rest of the country is designated as a Protected Zone. Swift action is being taken by the Plant Health Service to eradicate recent findings of OPM in Hampshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, including surveillance, tracing work and destruction of both the caterpillars and infested trees. The Plant Health Service have also announced an urgent review of import controls on oaks.

OPM caterpillars feed on oak leaves and can increase trees’ vulnerability to attack by other pests and diseases, making them less able to withstand weather conditions such as drought and floods. The cases highlight the need for continued vigilance from industry and government to protect the UK’s trees.

Dr Anna Brown, Head of Tree Health & Contingency Planning, Forestry Commission, said: “Those of us involved in importing or trading plants must maintain our vigilance against exotic pests and diseases such as OPM. There is a lot we can do such as buying British, only buying stock from reputable, responsible suppliers and inspecting imported plants.

“Inspect, inspect and inspect again – we can’t check imported plants too often for signs of trouble. Don’t presume that because your supplier found no evidence of a pest or disease that you won’t either. You might spot something that they have missed.”

The Forestry Commission, councils and land managers tackle the pest with an annual control programme of tree treatment. Increased measures to protect the country from the spread of OPM were introduced in 2018. Restrictions on the import of most species of oak into England have also been introduced as part of these regulations to protect native trees.

Professor Nicola Spence, Defra Chief Plant Health Officer, said: “Since 2012 we have invested more than £37 million in tree health research, including a dedicated programme of research and development on oak.

“We will continue to work with local authorities and land managers to tackle OPM with a control programme of treatment and surveillance.  In 2018, we introduced tighter restrictions on the importation of oak trees to England but are now looking at options to strengthen these even further.

“The Plant Health Service has received reports of an exceptional expansion of the OPM population in parts of Europe, due the hot weather experienced last year.”

If you suspect OPM, you should not attempt to destroy or move infected material yourself as the nests and caterpillars can pose some risks to human health. For more on how to identify OPM, visit https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/opm.

Further information:Larger oaks are defined here as those with a girth >8cm at 1.2m above the root collar.
To report sightings of pests and diseases, use the TreeAlert online portal: https://treealert.forestresearch.gov.uk/
The Plant Health Service is made up of Defra, Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Forestry Commission.
For more on OPM, visit: https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/pest-and-disease-resources/oak-processionary-moth-thaumetopoea-processionea/
For guidance on importing trees and plants to England and Wales from the EU visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-trees-and-plants-to-england-and-wales-from-the-eu
To find out more about plant health Protected Zones visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/resources/plant-health-protected-zones/
To find out how the government will work with others to protect England’s tree population from pest and disease threats, see the Tree Health Resilience Strategy: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tree-health-resilience-strategy-2018.
The Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHSI) is part of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and implements and enforces plant health policy in England, and in Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government. For more information on plant health controls, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plant-health-controls

Dallington Forest Rare Insects Found

(Posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy )

Photo of wetland cranefly
Photo ©️ J. Salmela

Dallington Forest is home to so many treasures. A recent survey – Dallington Forest Saproxylic Invertebrate Sampling report – just published, has found a number of nationally rare and endangered species including a wetland cranefly Ellipteroides alboscutellatus (pictured here)  described in the report as “a remarkable discovery”

From April through October 2018, 150 species of insect were identified from sampling in Dallington Forest; 48 of the Coleoptera species, 37 of the Diptera and 2 Hemiptera were saproxylic – dependent on decaying wood, giving a total of 87 saproxylic species; 16 of the species trapped are of special note due to their rarity across Britain, and these comprise 5 Nationally Rare and 11 Nationally Scarce species.

The report by Ecological Consultant Dr. Keith Alexander was commissioned by Dallington Forest Project. It was funded by a grant from Sussex Lund, grant application assisted by the Woodland Trust, Ancients of the Future (a Buglife project funded by the heritage Lottery Fund) provided traps and materials, and Peter Chandler identified the Diptera.

A PDF copy of the report is available here:
Dallington Forest Saproxylic Invertebrate Sampling 2018 Keith Alexander

Saproxylic invertebrates are those invertebrates that are dependent on dead or decaying wood (or dependent on other organisms that are themselves dependent on dead wood). These invertebrates may not be dependent on the wood for their entire life cycle but at least some stage is dependent on wood.

A good example of this are the larvae of some beetles that feed on decaying wood. The adults may feed on other things (such as nectar).

Dead wood is an essential component of woodland ecosystems, but one that is often overlooked and cleared away as unsightly or on the grounds of safety or neatness. As a result, invertebrate species that rely on dead wood are now some of the most threatened in Britain. It is vital to retain a variety of dead wood habitats within the woodland. This includes standing trees, dead branches, stems and snags on living trees and fallen branches and stumps. A range of dead wood at all stages of decay will provide a range of habitats for more specialist saproxylic (dead wood) invertebrates.

See the following websites for more information about saproxylic invertebrates: –

https://www.buglife.org.uk/search?combine_2=saproxylic

http://ec.europa.eu/…/spec…/redlist/beetles/introduction.htm

https://www.amentsoc.org/insects/glossary/terms/saproxylic

Tree Warden advice about Ash Dieback

(Message posted on behalf of Doug Edworthy, Tree warden for Dallington and Brightling)

In February 2019 the Tree Council published an Action Plan Toolkit concerning Chalara (Ash Dieback disease) primarily aimed at authorities and big landowners.

While the Action Plan Toolkit might not be directly applicable to all parishioners of Brightling and Dallington, there are landholdings in the parishes containing a great number of Ash trees some of which are near to public roads, bridleways and footpaths and may pose a risk when they become infected.

The document also outlines the responsibilities and actions expected of local authorities and so it will provide a useful checklist against which our own local authorities’ performance can be monitored.

Please click on this link to access a summary of information from the ‘Toolkit’ that is relevant or of interest to people of our two parishes. Summary of Tree Council Toolkit

You can also download the full Toolkit here: https://www.treecouncil.org.uk/Ash-Dieback

Useful guide to tree pests and diseases

We’ve heard a lot about Ash Dieback Disease, but it’s not the only threat to our trees.

The Observatree project is designed to help us all to look out for and report signs of trouble. They explain:

“Working with the UK Plant Health Risk Group (the group that maintains the UK Plant Health Risk Register), Observatree has identified those pests and diseases which are of the highest concern at the moment. They are the ones:

  • most likely to arrive in the UK

• that have already arrived and we are concerned about their spread

  • which have the potential to cause the most serious and widespread impact on commercial forestry, amenity woodland and ecological systems”

You can find out more and download useful resources including spotters guides at their website at https://www.observatree.org.uk/tree-health/pests-and-diseases/ .