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.
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The distress signal sparked a police hunt in the area to find the person or group who made it.