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Ash Dieback crisis talks in Holyrood

Evidence of Ash Dieback Photo: ITV Border

A crisis summit has been held to discuss how to combat the tree disease Ash Dieback in Scotland. The fungal infection kills ash trees and has been spreading throughout the UK.

The meeting was called at Holyrood after it was identified at fourteen sites across Scotland - including two in the south of the country.

Around fifty of Scotland's leading forestry, environment and land agencies came to Holyrood to try to work out the best way to battle this disease which is threatening to wipe out ash trees across the country.

Ash saplings in Dalbeattie Credit: ITV Border

You may remember last week we reported it had been found in thousands of samplings at Dalbeattie Town Wood but also, perhaps more worryingly in mature trees in the wild near Eyemouth in the Borders. It's too late to eradicate this disease completely but the organisations here today say work can be done now to limit its impact.

"Don't cut the trees down! We found out from broad that mature ash trees can actually have this disease for a number of years, 10 years plus. We don't know that it ultimately will kill them.

"It might be that they have a resistance built up over a period of time and they may well be able to fight this disease off. Please don't anybody cut down any mature ash trees if they see a sign of this disease. If in doubt contact the Forestry Commission and they will give you advice."

– CAROL EVANS, WOODLAND TRUST SCOTLAND

"I think the basic thing is for farmers to make sure that they don't transport infected material, material that they know is infected around and that they follow the basic biosecurity procedures on the farm. "The leaf litters where a lot of the spores are kept, so trying to do things that will minimise the transport leaf litter again is the basic thing but your basic biosecurity measures are the basic things here."

– ANDREW Bauer, NFU Scotland

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