MHHL Risk Management Policy for Trees

Martlesham Heath Householders Ltd (MHHL) is a not for profit company whose remit is the maintenance of 230 acres of open spaces and other assets owned by the company. MHHL is managed by volunteer directors supported by other volunteers. 

MHHL has a reactive system for managing tree safety.  Martlesham Heath residents report tree concerns/issues to MHHL that are considered by the MHHL committee. The MHHL administrator has authority to take emergency action if a tree becomes dangerous. A professional tree contractor undertakes all tree work.

Martlesham Heath has open land and it is not possible to restrict public access during periods of high winds.  Local information such as news outlets etc. will inform the public to take care of their personal safety.

1. How MHHL will manage Tree safety: 

MHHL has a detailed map (MHHL) of land ownership in Martlesham Heath. The Western Corridor is a designated site of special scientific interest SSSIand is managed by MHHL against a 10 year plan agreed with Natural England. 

MHHL will;

Engage a professional tree contractor to conduct an overall tree assessment to identify high and low risk tree zones and to conduct tree inspections. 

  • Ensure that remedial work identified by the inspection is completed.
  • Keep records of tree assessments and inspections. 
  • Publish MHHL contact details (not 24hrs.) so that anybody can report tree safety concerns  
  • Use professional tree contractor to undertake any tree work. 

The Contractor will be requested to divide trees on MHHL into two zones.

      1. Zone one where there is frequent public access to trees (e.g. schools, children’s playgrounds, popular footpaths, car parks, at the side of busy roads, sports fields, village green etc.). These trees will be checked annually. From local knowledge paths in this zone are:
        1. The village green
        2. Trees in each hamlet. 
        3. Birch Wood – cross path from village green to Eagle way opposite Mayfields.
        4. Birch Wood – Eagle Way  (by windsock) to Eagle Way opposite Coopers
        5. Birchwood – behind Birch Grove to Eagle way and joining Eagle Way opposite Mayfields. 
        6. Eagle Way to Goresland School via Control Tower.
        7. Path from Dobbs Lane to ‘The Sandlings’.
        8.  Sandlings path to edge of SSSI area. 

 

      1. Zone two where trees are not subject to frequent public access. (e.g. woodland where trees are away from footpaths such as in Birch Woods). These trees will be checked from a distance such as from footpaths on a rolling schedule so all minor paths are checked every three years. 

 

2. Tree Inspection Records - MHHL will maintain records of tree checks as follows:

  1. The tree contractor will provide records of their inspections. 
  2. TheMHHL Committee will be updated annually on any inspections that have taken place since the previous report, the remedial action taken and any work that is outstanding.

Occasionally after discussions with the tree expert it may be decided to retain a tree(s) that have serious structural faults or have died. Where such a condition is identified and the tree also poses a potentially serious risk because of its proximity to an area of zone 1, a specific assessment with management measures for that tree will be provided by the professional tree contractor. MHHL will implement their recommendations. 

Nesting Birds

It is a legal requirement to avoid disturbing nesting birds and MHHL will plan to undertake tree maintenance to avoid the bird-nesting season (usually between 1 March to 1 September).  Should it be necessary to undertake urgent tree work during the nesting season MHHL will check for nesting birds and avoid cutting or trimming in the vicinity of any nests until the fledglings have flown unless there is an immediate public safety risk which cannot be controlled in an alternative way.

Public Assistance

The public are encouraged to report tree damage so that appropriate action can be taken which may include restricting access to an area as an interim measure prior to remedial work. MHHL contact information is available on the website and on public signs.

 

 

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