Backwell Environment Trust

...15 years of conservation, protection, improvement...

  • Heavy horse logging in Jubilee Stone Wood - Easter 2023

    The wonderful sight of a traditional way to extract logs
  • The stunning view over Backwell from above the BET reserves

  • BET scythers and rakers by the Jubilee Stone - October 2021

    Joined by a representative from Tarmac Stancombe Quarry
  • The amazing dry stone wall built by BET volunteers - May 2019

    Next to the Warrener's Cottage
  • Wonderful wildflower meadow - May 2021
  • The stunning Limestone Pavement in Badgers Wood

    An amazing geological rock formation which is very rare in the south of England
  • The Layers viewpoint in Badgers Wood

  • One of our mystical ancient yew trees

  • The amazing view from the Jubilee Stone

  • Bird watchers enjoying the quarry view from Badgers Wood

Calendar Dates

Mon, Dec 11th, 2023
10:00 - 12:15
BET Monday Morning Volunteers
Sat, Dec 16th, 2023
10:00 - 12:15
BET Saturday Volunteers

Ash Dieback Update - March 2022


As we have reported in previous BET Bulletins and project updates, the majority of the ash trees on BET’s reserves are showing signs of ash dieback disease. There is no treatment for the disease and in the coming years these trees will, almost certainly, die and collapse. In our Spring bulletin we will provide a full update on the work we have been carrying out to tackle the effects of the disease. In the meantime here is a short summary.

In July 2021 we commissioned an independent survey of our trees to assess the risk that diseased trees posed to road and path users. The highest priority was to make the road and neighbouring houses safe. In September we employed a contractor to take down the trees which would fail onto the road. As the trees were unsafe to climb, heavy equipment had to be brought in and Cheston Combe road closed for a fortnight. 242305470 2904237143240235 6571104866378969344 n

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The work on the roadside trees was not fully completed and in February another contractor finished the upper section of Cheston Combe in a couple of days. Again a cherry picker was used to gain access to the overhanging branches and remove them carefully from around the overhead cables. The work was done with only a few minutes delay to passing traffic - saving us the cost of another complete road closure.

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During the winter our volunteers have also made a start on removing smaller diseased trees close to the main bridleway through Jubilee Stone Wood. We will need to use contractors for the larger trees close to paths, but only urgent felling can be carried out now that the bird nesting season is upon us. In the summer we will assess the state of trees identified in the survey to determine which should be felled next winter. We hope that some trees may survive, but this programme of checking and removing unsafe trees will continue for several years.

A variety of colours have been used to mark diseased trees. The majority are orange which means they are not currently deemed to be the highest risk but need to be monitored. Note, some trees on the road side of our boundary are the council's responsibility, but were marked with orange by a contractor in error.

In the meantime, we will continue planting new trees.  We have previously planted over 150 trees and expect to plant a further 200+ this spring, which is more than have been felled. The tree whips include a native mix of oak, silver birch, rowan, hazel and spindle which will increase the diversity in our woods. We also expect to see the understorey and wildflowers thrive in the increased light on the woodland floor.

BET Trustees

© 2023 Backwell Environment Trust