As part of an ongoing action plan to tackle the serious fungal disease Ash dieback - and keep residents safe, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) is to fell a number of trees in the Blaris Road of the city area in October.

Ash dieback affects trees right across the UK and eventually kills them. The removal work, which starts this week, follows similar activity undertaken by the Council in February, when a number of trees on the Blaris road were felled. In line with Council policy, two new trees will be planted for every one taken out.

Sally Courtney, Head of Service at LCCC’s Environmental Health Unit said: “We have an action plan in place at the Council to help manage Ash dieback and this is in line with the Tree Council’s Tree and Woodland Strategy.

“It is essential to remove trees affected by Ash dieback as there is no way of treating the disease. They could pose a danger to the public if simply left to decay and die, as they can become unstable. In their place, we are planting a variety of indigenous species which we hope the public will enjoy as they grow and mature.

“All the felled trees will be processed for firewood and distributed to the local community through churches and foodbanks in a bid to help tackle fuel poverty. Last winter, we were able to distribute 200 tonnes of firewood through this initiative.”

Some trees are also being removed to facilitate the development of new burial spaces in the Lisburn New Cemetery Extension on Blaris Road.

Sally Courtney continued: “We expect that there will be some disruption during the ongoing works at the cemetery and we are asking for residents’ patience and understanding while this is taking place. We will do our utmost to avoid any inconvenience and hope to manage this process as respectfully and as peacefully as possible.

“The Council may have to remove some memorial items for a short time if they are close to the trees being felled but these will be kept safe by our team and returned when the work is completed.”

Click here to read our Ash Dieback Action Plan (ADAP).