Death of the ash

Published: Monday, 28 September 2020

MEANDERING towards Foxton last week we were amazed by the plight of hundreds of ash trees, writes Roger J Spurr.

Dieback disease has attacked almost all of these along the length from Watford and clearly in due course about half of them will fall across the cut.

SpurrAshRight across the canal

I said to Irene on the outward journey that a chainsaw and turfur may be the next home delivery from Amazon.  So on the return between bridges 55 and 56 we were halted by a tree right across the canal, as Roger's photograph shows.

It was about a metre in girth and had given up the struggle to keep vertical with its rootball mostly in the water.  An oncoming boat was stranded on it and being hauled back off it by another helpful boater.

Two workmen arrived

CaRT were informed, they asked for details and photographs and a couple of hours later two workmen arrived with small boat and chainsaw and soon the tree was sorted. No fuss just got straight on with the job while seven boat crews stood and watched.

I gave the lads a can of beer apiece and we and another six boats carried on our way.

I am aware that at least one local highway authority has set aside extra monies to cover the problems with ash trees so I am hoping the trust will be making similar provision for what looks like a costly few years.