Tree felling in Budleigh to protect electricity power lines

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 February 2017

Clinton Devon Estates

Clinton Devon Estates

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Tree felling work is expected to take place this month to protect power lines in Budleigh Salterton.

As part of Western Power Distribution’s resilience programme, landowner Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) is required to clear the trees on either side of overhead power lines which supply the South Farm area.

The space between the nearest trees and power lines has to be a minimum of one-and-a-half times the height of the trees.

John Wilding, head of forestry and environment at landowner CDE, said: “The affected trees are large non-native poplar and Corsican pine, which are at significant risk of blowing over due to their shallow root bowl. Mature broadleaf trees, including oak, which grow along the southern edge of the site, will be unaffected.”

The Forestry Commission has granted CDE a felling licence, but the work could only be carried out after the bird-breeding season had finished.

Once the poplars and Corsican pine have been felled, the site will be left to ‘re-wild’ naturally with native shrub and tree species which, as well as being more resilient to adverse weather, will provide the right habitat for wildlife to thrive.

The South Farm area is subject to the proposed Lower Otter Restoration Project, which, if it goes ahead, would see tidal flooding reintroduced.

Mr Wilding added: “I would like to emphasise that this work is being carried out purely to ensure the resilience of the electricity supply to the South Farm area, and is unconnected to the proposed Lower Otter Restoration Project.”

Weather permitting, the work is due to begin the the next two weeks.

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