A WOODLAND area has reopened after being closed because of a rotten tree.

A small woodland area at Bure Park Nature Reserve in Bicester was closed on safety grounds last year due to the rotten tree.

A Bicester Town Council inspection found the tree to be unsafe, and because of its size, an area of woodland was closed.

Ecological surveys, reports of bats, and subsequent monitoring delayed the removal of the tree.

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Now though, the council has announced that the tree has been fully removed, and the woodland area reopened.

However, instead of disposing of the tree, the council’s outdoor team has recycled the trunk and branches to make habitats in order to attract wildlife, such as bees, insects and hedgehogs.

Town council leader Richard Mould said: “This process has taken much longer than we initially anticipated.

“Unfortunately, the procedure was much more complex than first expected and involved multiple examinations of the tree and then we had reports of bats potentially living in it which meant all work had to stop whilst monitoring took place.

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“We apologise for the delay, but are delighted to announce the tree has been felled and removed and woodland walk has now reopened.

“Bure Park Nature Reserve is a wonderful green lung for the town and I know many people enjoy walks there, especially with the Covid-19 restrictions that are currently in place.

“I would just like to remind people to take extra care because in this wet winter weather the ground underfoot can be slippery.”

The 25-acre site was designated a nature reserve in 2005.

The River Bure runs through and it has a range of woodland, nature trails, mature trees, meadows, several ponds and his home to an array of wildlife.