The landowner on the Kelston side of the river has informed SPC that they are carrying out approved essential tree felling and lopping works. This includes works on the ‘rope swing’ tree near Saltford Weir, which has been the subject of safety concerns during hot weather. A copy of the felling licence (018/3406/2019) has been viewed by SPC.
The Saltford Environment Group has shared the following information highlighting the safety and environmental benefits of these works:
If trees growing close to the riverbank edge are left to grow too large then the tree and root ball, or large branches, can fall into the water and block navigation. Removing semi-submerged trees can be dangerous in a fast-flowing river whereas coppicing trees before they fall is more appropriate. To minimise disruption to wildlife, this is best done outside the bird nesting season. The trees will grow back at a lower level.
SEG’s wildlife adviser confirms that this is also good for the ecology of the riverbank. With no wild ungulates or live floodplain to do the job, active management like this is essential to maintain niche diversity for a whole mass of invertebrates, plants and fungi.
Please be aware of these works if walking in the area. The landowner has stated where there is (minimal) disruption to access to the footpath for walkers to walk in the field to give operators clear working space.