Check out Tesco’s help for veteran trees

Ageing trees on Ludlow’s Whitcliffe Common are to get a “makeover” to help their health and prolong their lives.
Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Friends of Whitcliffe Common have, with the help and advice of an arboricultural consultant, put together a project designed to preserve the trees involved.
Carl Pickup, Reserves Manager for SWT with responsibility for Whitcliffe, said, “A number of the magnificent veteran trees on the common are showing their age. So, it is time for some action to help them.”
Conservation work on veteran trees was part of the successful application for a grant from Tesco won in a local vote.
Mr Pickup explained, “At this stage in their life, trees start to slowly decline and reduce in size, allowing the tallest parts to die off and focusing their energy on growth lower down.
“This can cause branches of break and create hazards to people so part of the work will involve tree surgery.”
There was, he added, also the problem that at this age trees can suffer from fungal attacks, the likely cause of some of the dead trees on Whitcliffe. “But those that survive can go on for another 300 years, becoming gnarly and hollow and providing a place for all sorts of wildlife.
The work will be taking place throughout the next few winter months, with FOWC volunteers working alongside a tree surgeon. Mr Pickup said, “So if you walk on Whitcliffe please stick to the footpaths and please follow any directions given by the tree surgeons.”
• Work on this project will run in tandem with clearing up work faced by FOWC and its volunteers following the recent bad weather.
Chairman Daphne Jones said, “The snow and high winds in the recent storms caused considerable damage. Our volunteers have reacted to around seven incidents to carry out emergency work on damaged trees.
“One of these included removing fallen timber to ensure that the road over Whitcliffe could remain open.
“They have also carried out safety work in other areas of the common to clear paths and ensure they are safe for walkers. The clearing up works they have to do will be continuing for some time.
“We are grateful that we have such a committed group of people so willing to give their time to care for the common.”