The Senior Ranger for Ashtead Common to be heard.
The Committee received a presentation from the Senior Ranger of Ashtead Common that provided a review of the Annual Work Programme 2015/16 as well as a preview of the upcoming 2016/17 programme. Members received updates regarding the following matters:-
Works to re-surface and re-camber Bridleway 38 were completed in December 2015. The new surface should last for at least 20 years and was capable of withstanding 20 tonne vehicle movement.
Volunteers had contributed 3,230 hours from April to September 2015, an increase of 14% from the same period in 2014. Additional volunteers had been recruited partly as a result of the creation of new volunteer sessions and events. One of the new volunteers included a long-term volunteer who had been trained as a qualified chainsaw operator to help with delivering major project work.
Veteran Tree Schedule
The Schedule was recently reviewed to develop a new approach for future years, including a reduction in the number of trees cut per year to 70. In response to members’ questions, the Senior Ranger advised that the Schedule was reviewed and amended because previous version took a fundamental approach to tree conservation and prioritised conservation objectives ahead of practical obseravations. Arboriculturalists within the Open Spaces Department were still working together to develop a best practice to be applied across the City Corporation’s open spaces.
Review of Scrub Grassland and Rides
Concessionary Ride 1 would be divided into four quadrants during the next four yearly work programmes in order to create several areas of scrub and grassland. It was hoped that this would add more sunlight and create additional views along the route.
At the conclusion of the presentation, a member (Surrey County Council) advised that he would recommend an allocation of funds from the County Council’s 2016/17 budget to contribute towards the 2016/17 Work Programme at Ashtead Common.