Woodland Trust: 'We must protect our native trees and natural eco-systems'

Andrew Sharkey, head of woodland management for the Woodland Trust, said losing ash trees would have serious implications for wildlife and the countryside.

This is yet another example of why the protection of our native trees, natural resources and eco-systems needs to be at the top of the agenda and we need a step change in the level of importance placed on bio-security to tackle the bigger issue.

The occurrence of tree diseases in the UK is becoming far too frequent and once they are established we are often powerless to act.

We are potentially facing the ash equivalent of Dutch elm disease, and unless we take serious measures as a country we will continue to see problems arising from imported diseases.

– Andrew Sharkey, Woodland Trust

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Ash tree imports banned

All imports of ash trees have been banned and walkers are being asked to take precautions to stop the disease spreading.