Monday, 10 November 2003
Oakwood and Ash Plantation near South Ockendon is set for a safety overhaul, to ensure the welfare of visitors and nearby residents.
A survey commissioned by Thurrock Council and carried out by an arboricultural consultancy in September, found that substantial work needs to be done in the woodland to ensure the safety of everyone using it.
The survey focused on all footpaths and access routes within the woodland and areas where it borders properties and highways.
Thurrock Council now intends to appoint a contractor to carry out the work, including the felling of trees that threaten to fall over or are dead or diseased. Other safety work, to be carried out in December, will involve height reduction and the removal of deadwood, overhanging low branches and any branches that could fall on to paths, highways or properties.
Councillor Peter Maynard, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: "Oakwood and Ash Plantation is an area of local beauty and we want to make sure that residents can continue to enjoy it safely.
"Felling dead trees and culling branches that threaten to fall on to visitors or property will remove any potential danger while ensuring that healthy, safe trees continue to thrive."
Anyone wishing to comment on the plans should write to the Strategic Environmental Planning Department at Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6SL.
Oakwood and Ash Plantation is part of the historic Belhus estate and lies between South Ockendon and Aveley. The 22-hectare site was designed by Lancelot Brown in the 18th century and features the remains of the elongated Long Pond and a listed (grade II) stench pipe.