August 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to all householders and their families, especially those of you who have joined us at Crinnis Wood Management Company Ltd recently.  You will already have been contacted by John Richomme of our new managing agents Smiths Gore of Truro working in collaboration with our Board of Directors who are elected annually to represent the membership in order to fulfil the stated aims of CWMCL of which each household is Shareholder.

To bring everyone up to date with events and highlight reached so far. The Woodland Tree Survey, completed in May 2011 by Paul Wallace of Woodsmiths, showed that within Wheal Regent Park (9.45 hectares total area (just over 23 acres), Crinnis Wood comprises over 600 mature trees. All those trees classed as an urgent risk of causing danger to life, transportation and property by the Cornwall County Council Tree Officer Ian Davies and Roger Paton of the Forestry Commission have now been removed. By doing this the decades of neglect and illegal dumping which have caused our woodland to deteriorate have started to be addressed and remedied.

While completing the main survey, Paul Wallace, observed a patch of feral Rhododendron ponticum on the border with Beach Road which appeared infected with  Phytophthora ramorum. A subsequent visit and Monoclonal Antibody ELISA tests carried out by the central DEFRA Laboratory near York by FERA confirmed this. Following this numerous other feral Rhododendron bushes throughout Crinnis Wood have also been found to be infected by either Phytophthora ramorum or Phytophthora kernoviae. These accidentally imported plant pathogens originating from Asia are causing a very serious notifiable disease epidemic and loss of trees throughout western Britain and parts of western Europe. Previously Sudden Oak Disease (SOD), as it is known in California, has caused the loss of many thousands of mature oak trees there.

Both pathogens spread fast from Rhododendrons causing ravaging diseases that can kill many wild, important timber and ornamental trees as well as other plant species. There is currently no known remedy other than felling and burning of affected species. Sudden Oak Disease can be compared to the plant equivalent of Foot and Mouth disease in animals. Fortunately we discovered it as early as we did. Only continued monitoring and stringent biosecurity measures will prevent re-occurrence. So we ask you and all visitors to observe and obey the warning signs and report any potential symptoms in your gardens to Nicholla Ingram  the FERA Phytophthora Project Officer, P.  ramorum  Unit, Polwhele, Truro, TR4 9AD on 01872 275063 or 07768 858879. Please also report any unauthorised people that you see in to the woodland so that action can be taken.

The current quarantine imposed by FERA will allow the Rhododendron ponticum to be removed by Paul Wallace at no cost to householders with grant aid awarded by the Forestry Commission. This urgent action was essential to control the spread of Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae onto our mature trees as well as members’ garden plants. Because of the outbreak of Phytophthora ramorum on their strip of land Cornwall County Council have also been instructed by Nicholla Ingram of FERA in Truro to clear, disinfect and cordon off their area bordering Beach Lane and Network Rail plan to do the same along the railway line where Phytophthora kernoviae was identified.

Once it is possible to do so after the quarantine has been lifted,  the branches of any trees that pose any threat to the railway will undergo some surgery to make them safe as we are obliged to do. An inspection schedule has been drawn up to monitor and if necessary deal with this or any other hazards in the woodland  for example following high wind. To aid this we have by created pathways along our border with the railway line and adjacent to roads and neighbouring properties so that a designated person with an emergency phone supplied by us may periodically check the condition of these trees. Providing we show due diligence in this way we have adequate liability insurance cover against damage by falling trees or branches resulting from an ‘Act of God’. This is important because Network Rail can charge us £200  for admininstration charges to cover a call to their Emergency Call Centre plus £750 per day to clear anything falling on the line from Crinnis Wood as we are forbidden to do so and to pay a Network Rail employee to contact the signal box  andstop the trains plus £450 per minute per train delayed due to line blockage. These costs can rapidly become formidable if more than one train will probably be delayed further up the line.

Meanwhile  a Management Plan is being drawn up by Paul Wallace in conjunction with Ross Collins of our new managing agents Smiths Gore of Truro. This will be presented to the Forestry Commission to fund the regeneration of our Crinnis Woodwith native trees, shrubs and other typical Cornish woodland plants once more as outlined in our Mission Statement.

We have already completed the creation of barriers, access tracks and turning circles for vehicles and plant on our northern and eastern borders and levelled the verge at the entrance to WRPwith topsoil and sowed grass seed.  We have worked with Cornwall Council Environment Department to produce a leaflet on C.C.C. notepaper warning against dumping garden and other wasteand outlining the hefty fines that can be imposed on fly tippers.  This has been distributed to all our neighbours bordering our woodland coupled with warning notices visible on our borders. We have re-wired the fenceline on the existing concrete posts along Beach Road. Carlyon Bay Parish Council have installed a Dog Waste Bin by the path along our border with Beach Road.

Remember, emergency services, utilities and our suppliers require clear unfettered access at all times to all our borders as defined in your deeds and our Title Documents. Any trees within the fenceline of householders’ properties are their sole responsibility including paying any fines and costs imposed by any  person oragency affected by falling trees or parts thereof.

Please note all trees in the Wheal Regent Development have Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) on them. If any require surgery, the owner is required by law to apply to the local planning dept. to get the TPO lifted and a registered fully insured tree surgeon to complete the work. Householders should also remember our deeds specify that we agree to abide by the Constitution of CWMCL, Local Authority rules and Bye Laws. For example since 2005 the height of Leylandii and other evergreen hedges is limited to 2 metres. Parking trade vans on drive ways is also not permitted.

Thanks and appreciation are extended to Smiths Gore of Truro Managing Agents;Woodsmiths Tree Surveyors; A J Plant; Geoff Ham Tree Services;  Nigel Scrace Garden Services and volunteers Gordon West, Alicia Fox, Andy Cooke and Phil Broughton.

Your directors are  Dr Roland Fox (Chair) 17 WRP Tel. 817916/0783784020; Peter FitzGerald 26 WRP Tel. 816927; Dominic Skerry 23 WRP; Mrs Jane West 15 WRP Tel   815547; Larry Woodland  34 WRP  Tel. 812521

Our next AGM will be held on 13 September 2012 at Carlyon Bay Hotel at 7 pm.