Knowsley Council is delivering an extensive programme of woodland and habitat restoration works in Stadt Moers Park and along the route of the proposed Prescot-Cronton Cycleway.
Why are the works needed?
Woodland habitat surveys have identified that Ash Dieback disease is affecting key sections of the woodlands in Stadt Moers Park.
As a woodland habitat restoration measure, the Council will be thinning out and felling the dead and dying trees from affected woodland areas. The thinning works are also necessary due to the dangers posed by diseased trees to nearby infrastructure and pedestrian routes within the park. The Council is committed to delivering a programme of natural woodland regeneration and will be planting new trees to produce a more resilient woodland habitat.
What is Ash Dieback?
Ash Dieback is a highly destructive fungal infection of Ash trees that causes the eventual death of the tree, there is no cure for Ash Dieback. When an Ash tree is infected by Ash Dieback, it causes the crown to dieback from the outer crown inwards. As the crown continues to dieback, the dead branches become brittle over time and break off which then starts to present a danger to the tree’s surroundings.
Meadowland, wetland and pond works
In addition to woodland restoration works in response to Ash Dieback, there will be management works to other habitats on the site, including cutting of the meadowland areas and vegetation management around wetland and pond areas in the park. These works form part of the positive management activities that will serve to enhance the biodiversity of these habitats in the future.
Safeguarding wildlife on the site is a priority. All birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) whilst breeding. This legislation protects nests, eggs and unfledged young from damage or destruction. However the legal protection is on the bird, not on its habitat and there is no legislation preventing vegetation removal at set times.
An ecologist has inspected the woodland sections for any bird nesting activity before work started and will closely monitor the site for the remainder of the work period to ensure no nest disturbance takes place.
For further information contact Knowsley Council’s Green Space team on 0151 443 3682.