Temporary closure due to ash dieback – May to Autumn 2024

Wick Golden Valley nature reserve is currently closed because ash trees within the reserve are infected with ash dieback. This makes them structurally unsafe and therefore too dangerous for the public to use the reserve.

Safety is paramount to visitors using the site as is the need to protect the unique wildlife found here.

Footpaths nearby will remain open, but paths through and within the reserve will be closed, check the map for details.

The nature reserve is ecologically very rich, providing nesting habitat to many bird species and roosting sites to 12 of the 18 UK bat species.

We commissioned an independent survey with landowners which identified that many of the ash trees require removal.

Due to the nature of the disease and there being nationally rare and significant species in the reserve, this means the difficult decision has been taken to close the reserve until specialist felling work can be undertaken later in the year.

The work cannot start immediately because cutting down the trees will cause significant disturbance to wildlife. Having discussed the best approach with landowners and tree and ecology advisors, the trees will be removed at the end of September to early October. This will cause the least disruption to wildlife.

Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst we work with the landowners to protect nature.

More about ash dieback

Ash dieback is a disease caused by a fungus which has been spreading for over 10 years across the UK and it is anticipated around 80% of all ash trees will become infected. You can find out more on our ash dieback page.

Community support

The nature reserve is cared for by the Friends of Wick Golden Valley. It is made up of a group of residents who help us manage the reserve.

They organise a range of events to help raise awareness of the nature reserve.

You can find out more or contact the conservation group on their Friends of Wick Golden Valley Facebook page.

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