Lake District phytophthora ramorum tree felling gets underway

Felling work is taking place at Whinlatter Forest until January 23 to stop the spread of phytophthora ramorum on larch trees.

The Forestry Commission plans to cut down 11ha of trees at Whinlatter Forest to stop the disease spreading to trees around its visitor centre.

A killer disease affecting larch trees in the Lake District has prompted a programme of felling.

The disease was first spotted in the UK in 2002.

Larch trees cover more than 4,000 hectares in Cumbria, six per cent of its total forest area, according to the Forestry Commission, with 436 hectares identified as being hit by the disease since 2011.

The Forestry Commission said it identified 94 hectares of larch woodland requiring to be felled to control ramorum disease in Cumbria in 2014, while in 2013, 293 hectares were targeted.

Forestry Commission representative Gareth Browning said: "After we have completed the felling we will replant mostly with conifer trees of species which do not get ramorum disease."

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