Above: Tissington Trail ⓒ Daniel Wildey
Sections of the Tissington Trail between Mapleton and Alsop-en-le-Dale will be closed during December 2022 to February 2023 as the National Park Authority undertakes tree felling operations for ash dieback.
The works are required to minimise the risk to trail users from weakened and potential falling trees affected by the disease. Much of the ash tree population of the Peak District is likely to be affected by ash dieback in the coming years, in particular in the White Peak area.
Many areas already affected by the disease have already been subject to felling operations.
Works along the Trail will only take place during weekdays, with weekends and school half-term periods unaffected and the Trail re-opened for use as normal.
Closures will happen in short sections with each area re-opening after felling is complete. An updated list of affected sections will be available on the Authority’s website and social media throughout.
The vast majority of the resulting timber and other material will be removed from the Trail. However, some small areas of habitat will be left to benefit wildlife. Replacement trees will not be planted, but natural regeneration will be allowed to take place. Routine safety and route management will be carried out where required.
A spokesperson for the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “Ash dieback sadly now has a firm grip in the Peak District, which is why the Authority and many other partners and organisations are undertaking felling works to tackle the impact of the disease.
“Our priority on the National Park’s popular trails network is to minimise the potential risk to trail users from trees within falling distance of the route. Taking comprehensive action now will reduce the need to return in the future and apply additional closures and disturbance to habitats.
“Whilst none of us wish to see the loss of wonderful native trees, we anticipate that felling along the trail routes will open up many of the dramatic views and vistas for visitors to enjoy that are not currently available due to existing tree cover.
“By only closing routes in sections and maintaining access during weekends and school holiday periods in the winter, we aim to keep disruption to a minimum.”
Visitors are being asked to observe all closures and not enter restricted areas at any time.
Smaller felling and ‘pollarding’ operations on ash trees will also take place around the Bakewell station area of the Monsal Trail, however this will not require closure of the route and access will be maintained.
The latest information can be found on the National Park Authority website at peakdistrict.gov.uk