Weston schools fight back against tree disease
- Credit: Laura Elmont
A multi-academy trust has announced it has been working alongside the Woodland Trust to stop the number of trees in its Weston schools from dropping due to disease.
Extend Learning Academies Network (ELAN) is made up of eight primary schools across Weston and Worle - seven of which have had to fell trees because of the ash dieback disease.
Ash dieback, as the name suggests, targets ash trees in the UK and is not native to the country, therefore UK trees have not built a natural defence against it.
A spokesman for ELAN confirmed its schools have replanted thousands of saplings to keep its tree population alive.
They said: "We keep a close eye on the health of all our trees and wooded areas in and around our school sites, tracking the subtle changes brought about by ash dieback.
"We aim to retain as many potentially tolerant ash trees as possible, letting nature take its course by allowing diseased trees to decline naturally when it is safe to do so."
ELAN consists of Bournville, Locking, Oldmixon, Mead Vale, Mendip Green, Milton Park, Walliscote and Windwhistle primary schools.
- 1 Man suffers head injuries in Weston robbery
- 2 Jobs boom as Weston firm looks to expand
- 3 Weston shopfront restored to its former glory
- 4 May 17: Village café and sustainable shop to reopen
- 5 Banwell traffic will soon be 'a thing of the past'
- 6 Mini tornado does damage in Weston
- 7 Huge six-bedroom house with flat on Weston seafront
- 8 Newspapers often enjoyed grand town centre premises as befitted the self-important Fourth Estate.
- 9 New mayor of Weston 'honoured' to serve town
- 10 May 17: Which pubs are reopening across Weston?
The trust spokesman added: "When trees are removed, we replant. The cost of more established specimens limits the amount of larger trees we can plant, but, with the help of the Woodland Trust, we have put in over a thousand saplings in the last two years across the estate.
"Trees have been carefully chosen for their longevity and ability to thrive in our local semi-coastal climate."
The Woodland Trust has estimated that 80 per cent of ash trees in the UK will be lost to ash dieback, costing billions of pounds.
The effects of the disease are visible during the summer months and residents may begin to notice trees bearing dark patches and the onset of dieback.
Other tell-tale signs include the inner bark of the tree turning a brownish-grey colour under diamond-shaped lesions where the branches meet the trunk.
North Somerset Council plans to introduce an ash dieback action plan by Autumn of this year.