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Get involved in photography project to record impact of deadly tree disease

Published: 12 March 2021

Photography project to record impact of deadly tree disease Cllr David Harvey, Portfolio Holder for City Management

People across Exeter can now take part in a study to assess the effect of ash dieback disease on the landscape of the city.

Three fixed camera points have been installed at three locations across the city where ash dieback will have an impact.

Members of the public are now being encouraged to take photographs from the fixed posts to capture Exeter’s changing landscape over the coming months and years. The pictures, will capture changes to the treescape and will help inform decisions about future plantings across the city.

The county-wide project has been launched by Saving Devon’s Treescapes –part of the Devon Wildlife Trust – working in partnership with local authorities such as Exeter City Council to mitigate the loss of trees caused by the deadly ash dieback disease. The project is already underway in neighbouring East Devon

Posts have been installed at three of Exeter’s green open spaces with more positions being considered:

  • Eastern Fields, Pinhoe – by the entrance from Beacon Heath Road
    (what3words location ‘assist backs fancy
  • Exwick Playing Fields – at the footpath junction beside a bench and dog litter bin
    (what3words location ‘dimes backs loose')
  • Topsham Recreation Ground – at the northern end of the park
    (what3words location ‘powder asleep lives’)

All three posts are mounted with a bracket, allowing people to take a photograph of the landscape with their camera phone and then send it to the project via email. The three posts help make up 25 across the county.

Photographs all need to be taken in the same way:

  • Using a smart phone placed in the bracket
  • Photos can be taken in ‘landscape’ or ‘portrait’ mode
  • Don’t use the zoom function
  • No selfies or people shots
  • Email the picture to In the title of the email include the number in the top left corner of the sign on the post of the fixed camera point
  • Those on social media can share their photos online using the hashtag #SaveDevonsTrees

Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for City Management, said: “Sadly, ash dieback is having a devastating affect on our trees, with around 90% of ash trees across the country being effected.  In Exeter we are no different. However, we have set aside a budget for the replacement of trees taken as a result of ash dieback and will be planting new trees across the city.

“This valuable project will allow us to assess the impact of the loss of these trees and to evaluate where we plant trees in the future.”

Rosie Cotgreave, of Saving Devon’s Treescapes, said: “Ash Dieback is changing the way Devon looks but everyone can help to ensure we create new diverse and resilient treescapes. This citizen science project will allow us to monitor and understand the changes to the landscape and the impacts of wildlife. We wouldn’t be able to do this without the continued support from the public.”

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