Tree felling to take place at Clare Castle Country Park

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge with Geoffrey Bray at Clare Castle Country Park ANL-151027-091657001
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge with Geoffrey Bray at Clare Castle Country Park ANL-151027-091657001

Trustees of Clare Castle Country Park are warning people that work, due to take place around the park’s moat, will involve felling trees.

Early next year trees will be felled on the south side of the moat, up to the high path on Ladies’ Walk, in order to improve habitat for wildlife.

Geoffrey Bray, chairman of the Clare Castle Country Park Trust, said clearing the trees would allow understory to grow which would attract small mammals, beetles and bugs to the waterside habitat.

The trust is then planning to apply for a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund to enable it to de-silt the moat – which currently has about 4ft of silt and six inches of water, accumulated over about 30 years – and that cleaner, clearer water will attract more wildlife.

Mr Bray said: “In late January/February a fair number [of trees] are going to be felled to open it up and let the light in. Basically, because the whole thing is practically full of silt, it’s covered with dark weed and algae and looks absolutely terrible, and it’s gradually dying and killing off all the wildlife that’s in it.

“Once it’s cleared, probably within four or five months, it will look dramatically better and within a couple of years people won’t recognise it.”

He added: “Historic England are keen on it because they don’t like trees growing on a scheduled ancient monument, but, from an ecology point of view, Suffolk Wildlife Trust support it because the water is absolutely dreadful and nothing will survive in it and the banks that are covered in trees don’t have any understory so there isn’t any wildlife at all.

“This is a pre-warning to people because whenever we start chopping trees down people get excited. We’re trying to tell people this is what we’re doing and we’ve got approval for it.”

Earlier this month around 80 people attended an information night where the park’s trustees and volunteers explained what needed to be done to preserve and maintain it .