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Tree maintenance policy

MHHL has a system for managing tree safety. 

Reactive Management 

Martlesham Heath residents report tree concerns/issues to MHHL that are considered by the MHHL committee. The MHHL administrator has authority to take emergency action if a tree becomes dangerous. Only a  professional tree contractor approved by MHHL shall undertake tree maintenance.

Martlesham Heath has open land and it is not possible to restrict public access during periods of high winds.  Local information such as news outlets etc. will inform the public to take care of their personal safety.

Proactive Management

1. How MHHL manages Tree safety: 

MHHL has a detailed map of land ownership in Martlesham Heath. The Western Corridor is a designated site of special scientific interest SSSIand is managed by MHHL against a 10 year plan agreed with Natural England. 

MHHL;

Engages a professional tree contractor at regular intervals to conduct an overall tree assessment to identify high and low risk tree zones and to conduct tree inspections. 

Ensure that remedial work identified by the inspection is completed.

Keep records of tree assessments and inspections. 

Publish MHHL contact details (not 24hrs.) so that anybody can report tree safety concerns  

Use professional tree contractors to undertake any tree maintenance. 

The trees on MHHL are divided into two zones.

Zone one where there is frequent public access to trees (e.g. schools, children’s playgrounds, popular footpaths, car parks, at the side of busy roads, sports fields, village green etc.). These trees will be checked annually. From local knowledge paths in this zone are:

The village green

Trees in each hamlet. 

Birch Wood – cross path from village green to Eagle way opposite Mayfields.

Birch Wood – Eagle Way  (by windsock) to Eagle Way opposite Coopers

Birchwood – behind Birch Grove to Eagle way and joining Eagle Way opposite Mayfields. 

Eagle Way to Goresland School via Control Tower.

Path from Dobbs Lane to ‘The Sandlings’.

 Sandlings path to edge of SSSI area. 

 

Zone two where trees are not subject to frequent public access. (e.g. woodland where trees are away from footpaths such as in Birch Woods). These trees will be checked from a distance such as from footpaths on a rolling schedule so all minor paths are checked every three years. 

 

2. Tree Inspection Records - MHHL will maintain records of tree checks as follows:

The tree contractor will provide records of their inspections. 

The MHHL Committee will be updated annually on any inspections that have taken place since the previous report, the remedial action taken and any work that is outstanding.

Occasionally after discussions with the tree expert it may be decided to retain a tree(s) that have serious structural faults or have died. Where such a condition is identified and the tree also poses a potentially serious risk because of its proximity to an area of zone 1, a specific assessment with management measures for that tree will be provided by the professional tree contractor. MHHL will implement their recommendations. 

Nesting Birds

It is a legal requirement to avoid disturbing nesting birds and MHHL will plan to undertake tree maintenance to avoid the bird-nesting season (usually between 1 March to 1 September).  Should it be necessary to undertake urgent tree work during the nesting season MHHL will check for nesting birds and avoid cutting or trimming in the vicinity of any nests until the fledglings have flown unless there is an immediate public safety risk which cannot be controlled in an alternative way.

Public Assistance

The public are encouraged to report tree damage so that appropriate action can be taken which may include restricting access to an area as an interim measure prior to remedial work. MHHL contact information is available on the website and on public signs.