The Parish Council has recently started work to remove a dozen or so English elm trees from alongside Berry Lane, which have sadly succumbed to the disease Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, more widely known as Dutch elm disease. The largest of the dead trees is about 25 years old.
The felling work is being carried out by volunteers from the Council’s Parish Farm committee, who look after the land at Berry Meadow, The Meads and Twyford’s part of Compton Lock. The work to the trees has required removal of some of the understorey (ivy, clematis, bramble and nettle) and is about two thirds complete. This has also opened up light to some shrubs and self sown trees, which will allow them to thrive. Once the ground was cleared it was discovered that some of it has been built up from hardcore, old fencing, and chicken wire trodden into the tangle of bricks and bramble roots. The wire is being cut up and removed.
This work has opened up the full extent of the width of this popular walking route towards the River Itchen. The Council is also exploring whether it can make improvements to the surface of the lane which has been eroded due to heavy rain runoff.