Residents and visitors to Newstead Abbey were alarmed on Wednesday when they witnessed a mechanical digger clearing an area of rhododendron bushes at the beauty spot.
But park owners, Nottingham City Council, moved to reassure visitors that they were clearing the area for safety reasons and to prevent further damage caused by a fungi disease.
“Since we changed our pricing structure we are getting more visitors arriving on foot,” said commercial site manager, Penny Beniston. “The area we are clearing is around a bad bend as we need to make it safer for pedestrians.
“It is no more than 2m wide strip in a very wide area of woodland.
“We have been advised by DEFRA that they are also at risk of a fungi disease, which if it spreads to nearby trees, could mean cutting down the oaks and ashes which we don’t want.”
The bushes are expected to come back better than ever.