VIEWS around one of Dorset’s popular attractions, Sturminster Newton Mill, will change with a request to fell or prune a number of trees.

Many of the trees are on Newton Hill, from the junctions with Orchard Close and Mill Lane, on the approach road into Sturminster Newton from the west, with others closer to the tourist attraction.

The Hinton St Mary Estate says tree surveys have discovered a range of problems which will mean some trees having to be felled or cut back in the near future and others likely to need action in the years ahead.

Dorset author Thomas Hardy lived from 1876 to 1878 in a house overlooking the Mill where he had written Return of the Native and several poems commemorating his residence there.

The species surveyed include elm, ash, oak, cypress and maple with the work suggested also involving cutting back on hawthorn and goat willow.

An arboriculture survey by Jonathan Astill says that some of the trees are within falling distance of the road and ought to be prioritised.

He says that many of the trees in the area are ash, which is suffering nationally from ash dieback, although most of the local ash trees appear healthy at the moment.

He suggests more frequent surveys to keep an eye out for signs of the disease but says the trees should be retained for as long as they remain healthy.

His report lists 25 elm trees for felling, most suffering from Dutch elm disease, some of them already dead. The list of elms to be felled includes a group of ten on the south side of Veal’s Lane.

Not all of the trees to be felled are being treated as a priority and each tree is given a risk rating to determine which should be felled in what order.

One of each of the following species in the area are also suggested for felling – ash, goat willow, London plane, field maple, poplar and Leyland Cyprus.

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