Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Woodland Trust: The Threat To The Common Ash Grows

We'd like to thank you for your support in helping raise awareness of Chalara fraxinea (ash dieback). Your efforts are going a long way to assist us and the government in understanding the true scale of the disease across the UK.

Over the weekend we have seen the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson MP, introduce a ban on the import and movement of ash across the UK. We will do all we can to mitigate the spread of this disease in line with government instructions and advice, but there is still much more to be done.

Unfortunately, we can confirm that the disease has been found in both the mature ancient woodland and woodland creation areas on our estate at Pound Farm in Suffolk. In light of this discovery, we need government scientists to give urgent and clear advice to all woodland owners on how to manage the disease.

We are now calling on the government to set up an emergency summit bringing together representatives from all areas of forestry, plant health and conservation. The Woodland Trust will play an active role in any task force that is created.

Today ash is under threat, but tomorrow yet another of our precious native trees could be at risk.

"I think I've seen a tree with ash dieback – what should I do?"

Please report any sightings at once. The disease is most likely to be found in newly planted young trees. You can report your findings to the following:

Forest Research Tree Health Diagnostic and Advisory Service
Call: 01420 23000
Email: ddas.ah@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Forestry Commission Plant Health Service
Call: 0131 314 6414
Email: plant.health@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Fera Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate
Call: 01904 465625
Email: planthealth.info@fera.gsi.gov.uk

Thank you for your continued support. We will keep you updated as the situation develops. We are committed to protecting our great native trees.

Yours sincerely

Sue Holden
Woodland Trust, Chief Executive