WORK has just started on the famous beech avenue at Kingston Lacy to maintain the safety of the 180 year-old avenue of beech trees.

The work, which will involve felling of five trees, includes carrying out remedial tree surgery work to 70 of the 500 trees in the avenue.

Work started on Monday and will continue for up to two weeks.

Peter Samson, head ranger at Kingston Lacy said: “This is a much-loved avenue, planted back in 1835, but unfortunately now many of the trees are dying from a combination of old age, disease and climate changes.

“The work we are carrying out will keep the avenue safe for people driving along the B3082 and help to ensure that the remaining trees survive for as long as possible.

“We know how much people love the avenue but since beech trees normally only have a lifespan of around 200 years and they are suffering from many factors, not least pollution from traffic on the road.”

For the long term, the National Trust is planting an avenue of Hornbeams to replace the beech avenue, chosen because they will give the same seasonal colour and shape as the beech trees but are more tolerant of difficult conditions.