Current ash dieback works
Newport City Council have been undertaking essential safety works on the Mon and Brecon canal. The section bordering Malpas Road by Barrack Hill allotments is still pending completion. This necessitates a two-lane closure on the outbound side of Malpas road.
The essential tree works are due to start from 10pm on 26th May and are programmed to end on the morning of 30th May 2023. As it is anticipated that this operation will affect the flow of traffic on Malpas Road approaching Junction 26 of the M4 from Newport City Centre, the work is being undertaken over a bank holiday weekend with the aim to minimise disruption as much as possible.
Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
December 2022 - March 2023
The council will be carrying out work along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal to remove trees which have been infected by ash dieback.
This will affect use of the canal footpath, which will be subject to a series of rolling closures while we carry out this work.
The banks on both sides of the canal contain a large number of mature ash trees, which have been infected by ash dieback.
Due to the very dry and very warm weather we have experienced over the last few years, this has made the disease progress rapidly and a large number of trees are now considered potentially hazardous.
The only safe way to remove these dangerous trees is to close the footpath in order to facilitate the large plant machinery that will be required to carry out the work.
The work will be carried out in stages, so only certain sections of the canal will be closed at any one time.
Contractors are currently working in the following locations from Monday 9 January:
Rogerstone – Pontymason Lane to Little Oaks - 1-2 weeks with the diversion being via the golf course footpath, or via Pontymason Lane and Great Oaks Park.
Allt-Yr-Yn and Barrack Hill – Barrack Hill end to Barrack Hill allotments entrance bridge – expected to last around 3 to 4 weeks with a diversion via Malpas road
Malpas – South of Bettws Lane to Gwasted Lock – expected to last about 3-4 weeks with diversions via Malpas Road and Crindau Park.
Diversions will be in place throughout the closures and will be signposted. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused by this work.
Noise & Dust
We will restrict work to daytime hours. There will be no work in the night-time. The operations will be mostly dust-free, but where dusty activities are required please be assured that our contractors are equipped and committed to keep the dust nuisance to a minimum.
The footpath will be closed from morning until dark. We are not planning to work on weekends. This is being done to increase the amount of time available for the contractors to work, thereby reducing the overall length of the works while facilitating use of the canal out of work hours.
There will be no pedestrian access along closed sections of the foot way during working hours, but diversions will be put in place to enable use of sections of the canal not being worked on.
Ash dieback disease is caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, previously called Chalara fraxinea.
Ash dieback is predicted to infect almost 80 per cent of ash trees in the UK and has already led to the removal of trees in Newport.
What does Ash dieback look like?
Ash dieback has a mushroom-like fruiting body that grows on infected ash tree leaf litter, bursting open in summer and releasing thousands of spores into the air, infecting healthy ash trees.
Visit Forest Research for more information, including how to recognise the disease or visit the Woodland Trust website
Managing Ash dieback in Newport
All council-owned trees are surveyed to monitor their health and to identify any trees that may be unhealthy or pose a risk.
As part of these surveys we now identify and monitor Ash trees for signs of Ash dieback and will arrange to have badly infected trees felled to prevent accidents.
Some large areas of Ash trees will be felled with a significant impact on local wooded areas.
The council has a policy of planting two trees for every tree cut down on land it is responsible for, so any felled Ash trees will be replaced with other suitable trees.
You can help halt the spread of Ash dieback by:
- Cleaning your shoes after visiting a wooded area
- Not taking cuttings or plant material from the countryside
- Washing car or bike wheels to remove any plant matter or mud
Report Ash dieback
If you spot a tree with Ash dieback in a public place please report it as you would any other dangerous tree.
Or email Tree.Team@newport.gov.uk
Information for tree owners
Land owners have a legal duty of care and must maintain their trees in a reasonably safe condition.
If you have an Ash tree on your property we recommend that you get a tree surgeon to check for signs of Ash dieback.
A tree that has signs of the disease and is located where it could cause damage to persons or property should be removed.
You must ensure that all necessary consents are in place before felling a tree, seeking guidance from a tree surgeon or tree consultant.
Welsh Government - Ash dieback leaflet (pdf)
Natural Resources Wales - Tree Health
Woodland Trust - Ash dieback
Forest Research - Ash dieback
Common sense risk management of trees
Email Tree.Team@newport.gov.uk with any queries.