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Trees and Treework


Essential Tree Works In The Parish - A report from Councillor Richard Stamford, October 2018

Everyone will have noticed the massive take of natural habitat required by the A14 development. Most of the trees which have been cleared will have been somewhere around 30 years old, and which had matured to provide a gentle natural vista since the last development from the A604. There is a replanting plan but, of course it will take a similar amount of time to produce the benefits to wildlife, noise and pollution reduction of the prior state.

More locally many will have noticed, too, the seemingly drastic work undertaken by PX Farms on their newly acquired land on Scotland Road. However, it is to be understood that maintenance is an essential part of management of the countryside. The hedgerow had been allowed to choke itself with dead tree limbs falling onto the road and the un-managed hedge encroaching onto the highway reducing visibility and safety of road users. Once again the plan in hand is excellent, The residual trees now have room to prosper and once the ditch has been cleared the space between will be planted with a new hedge, Of course this will also take time to mature but the results can be seen where PX undertook the same exercise just three years ago at Crafts Farm along the Oakington Road.

The parish has also work to do in this area on both the delightful ancient Holloway that is Long Lane and the preserved Green Way that is Butcher’s Lane. Both of these footpaths are bounded by magnificent, but long dead Elm and Ash trees which are dropping or about to drop very large boughs. The parish has a duty of care for all those who pass through and as such, is bound to act appropriately upon our findings. At the same time, those responsible for keeping an eye on these matters are keenly aware that the habitats and the general feeling of well-being these places imbue is especially important and should be preserved wherever possible. In order to try to achieve both aims we have gone out to tender to get an idea of cost for the work proposed and are presently in discussion with Highways to defer at least a proportion of the expense which would otherwise have to come from our own parish funds.

The proposed action is to remove the “sail” (that is the topmost branches and ivy which catch the wind and would eventually topple the entire tree) and so leave the monoliths, (which are mighty, magnificent and will then be stable for the foreseeable future) ivy attached, for the wildlife habitat they currently provide. The branches removed will be laid to rest aside their parent trees, again to provide a natural habitat as they gradually rot down, re-feeding the ground which grew them in nature’s natural cycle.

The sharper eyed amongst you will have noticed a little replanting in appropriate spots has already taken place (thanks to Rod and Shelagh Scammell) and we will continue with this work.

So, in due course if you hear the merry buzz of chainsaws in these areas, rest assured that the work is in the interests of conservation and not decimation!

Richard Stamford, Parish Tree Warden


Butchers Lane, Dry Drayton Long Lane, Dry Drayton

Butchers Lane and Long Lane, Dry Drayton


Post script

For those unfamiliar with the network of footpaths in the village there exists a wonderful and informative booklet produced by a former parish council chair, Dr Nick Irish. If anyone would like an electronic copy, please get in touch.