The release of the video follows the public information open event held at The Gregg School on January 26th which was attended and well supported by more than 70 local residents.
The tree management is part of aerodrome safeguarding work. Aerodrome safeguarding is the term used in aviation to allow for the management of obstacles to ensure planes can take off and land safely. It is a legislative issue that all airports must comply with.
The work at Marlhill Copse will involve coppicing, reducing and felling some of the trees. In order to carry out these works, and to cause as little disturbance to local residents as possible, Southampton Airport purchased Marlhill Copse at the end of August 2018.
The work will require 27 trees to be felled, and crown reductions in the lower bank to ensure that trees are left in a healthy, balanced state. To be as sensitive to the local ecology as possible it will be necessary to control Marlhill Copse access to the general public for the duration of the works.
The works will take place once approvals have been given by the Forestry Commission and Southampton City Council. As part of its preparation, the airport team is currently undertaking a full environmental report to ensure that it puts in place all safeguarding measures necessary to protect any sensitive animals and plants that live within the copse and minimise the impact on the local community.
The felling licence applied for does not allow Southampton Airport to remove all trees from the area, and this will be checked by the authorities to ensure compliance.
Although a large number of trees in the copse have been marked and may need some form of management, the vast majority of those trees marked are minor crown reductions which will not affect the trees. To ensure disruption to the local environment is kept to a minimum, an ecologist will be on site at all times.
Airside Operations & Safety Manager, Dan Townsend, said: “We will be working closely with Southampton City Council and local community groups to return the woodland to the community in a healthier condition to be enjoyed by all for years ahead.
“We will be replanting on a ratio of three to one, working with the council and the Forestry Commission to identify native species and comply with planting protocols outlined under Tree Preservation Order legislation.
“We are currently in the planning and application stages to enable us to carry out this important work, and are taking great care to look after this woodland and its ecology.”
Work to safeguard the local ecology includes:
Appointed independent ecologists to advise at each stage of the work;
Engaged with Southampton City Council Ecology team;
Letter drops to local residents provision of public notice boards;
Engaged a former Forestry Commission inspector to create a woodland management plan for the long-term future;
Site-wide species surveys for:
Great Crested Newts
Plans to install a woodland gate for pedestrian access and removal of the mound of soil that has been dumped on the site;
Planning regular site litter picks.
The video can be found on our website at:
If anybody has any questions or concerns about the upcoming work, please contact Marlhill@southamptonairport.com