VOLUNTEERS have been picking up the pieces at a Ludlow beauty spot following the October storm.

The stormy autumn weather of October has brought problems needing urgent safety work for a local volunteer group which cares for Whitcliffe Common.

High winds severely damaged several trees. In one instance the damage to an ash tree was so bad that special permission had to be sought from Shropshire Council Environment department to fell it.

“It was clear the ash tree was a danger to walkers on what is one of the common’s most used paths,” said Daphne Jones, chairman of the Friends of Whitcliffe Common.

“We are conscious of the need for us, as the managers of Whitcliffe, to ensure the safety of the public.

“So, in conjunction with the Shropshire Wildlife tree surgeon, we sent photographs to the council who immediately gave permission to fell the tree for safety reasons.”

Julie Davies from Shropshire Council’s Natural Environment Team said there was no option but to remove the tree.

“We looked at the photographs the Friends of Whitcliffe Common sent to us with a Tree Officer and agreed that the ash tree was imminently dangerous and was therefore exempt from the normal conservation area notification.

Mrs Jones said the tree surgeon, together with seven volunteers from the Friends, worked all day to remove the tree and clean up the area.

A section of the trunk has been left for wildlife habitat and wood from the small branches had been distributed to local senior citizens.

Some others tress were damaged in the storm but are not considered a safety issue.

“Friends of Whitcliffe Common would like to thank these people who have contacted us recently,” added Mrs Jones.

“They are well aware of what the weather conditions have done on Whitcliffe and are so appreciative of the voluntary work we undertake in dealing with these situations.

“Friends of Whitcliffe Common is also grateful to the volunteers who work in all conditions to ensure that Whitcliffe remains such an asset to Ludlow.”