Nature reserve closed because it is 'too dangerous' for the public to enter

Wick Golden Valley Nature Reserve
Wick Golden Valley Nature Reserve -Credit:Google Earth

A nature reserve in South Gloucestershire has been shut down for the entire summer. It's been deemed too hazardous for public access.

The Golden Valley Nature Reserve in Wick, to the east of Bristol, has had to temporarily close until autumn due to a high number of trees infected with ash dieback disease. South Gloucestershire Council and the volunteer group managing the nature reserve have been advised by experts that the diseased trees pose a structural risk, making it 'too dangerous' for public use.

However, as these trees cannot be felled until after the summer to safeguard the wildlife, the reserve will remain inaccessible until then. The nature reserve is on the edge of the village of Wick, near Cadbury Heath and Warmley.

READ NEXT: King Charles and Queen Camilla 'could miss wedding of the year' after invite snub

READ MORE: Asian Hornet in UK warning as 'risk to human health' alert issued

The council has told residents that while footpaths near the reserve remain open, access to paths within and through the reserve is currently closed. This closure will last until autumn this year when the infected trees are due to be felled.

A council spokesperson said: “Wick Golden Valley nature reserve is currently closed because ash trees within the reserve are infected with ash dieback. This makes them structurally unsafe and therefore too dangerous for the public to use the reserve. Safety is paramount to visitors using the site as is the need to protect the unique wildlife found here.

“Footpaths nearby will remain open, but paths through and within the reserve will be closed, check the map for details. The nature reserve is ecologically very rich, providing nesting habitat to many bird species and roosting sites to 12 of the 18 UK bat species,” he said.

“We commissioned an independent survey with landowners which identified that many of the ash trees require removal. Due to the nature of the disease and there being nationally rare and significant species in the reserve, this means the difficult decision has been taken to close the reserve until specialist felling work can be undertaken later in the year,” he added.

“The work cannot start immediately because cutting down the trees will cause significant disturbance to wildlife. Having discussed the best approach with landowners and tree and ecology advisors, the trees will be removed at the end of September to early October. This will cause the least disruption to wildlife.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst we work with the landowners to protect nature,” he added.