1. ITV Report

Ash dieback disease reaches Carmarthenshire

Fungal disease has now reached Wales Photo: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The first case of ash dieback disease in Wales has been confirmed by the Forestry Commission in Wales. The disease was found on saplings in private woodland in the Carmarthen area. The trees, which were planted in 2009, are still quite small and measures are being put in place to minimise the risk of the disease spreading to the wider environment.

The site will be quarantined to prevent spread of the fungal infection and the Forestry Commission have said they will work with the woodland owner to deal with the infected trees.

The discovery follows a survey of the whole of Wales over the past four days to check the condition of the country’s ash trees.

This is a serious disease and we, along with our colleagues [in other Agencies] are taking steps to tackle this disease as a matter of the utmost urgency

– Environment Minister John Griffiths

The disease was recorded for the first time in Britain earlier this year at a car park in Leicestershire and subsequently at several sites in the south-east of England and Scotland.

The UK Government imposed a ban on imports and movements of ash plants and seeds into and within Great Britain last week.

Wind borne spores are the main mechanism for the disease to spread in the wider environment, typically during August and September. We now have a window to capture the best scientific advice to help shape our response.

However, now that we have found the first case of the disease in Wales, we believe that more infected trees could be discovered here

– John Browne Forestry Commission Wales

Chalara poses no risk to human or animal health but people are being asked to behave responsibly and to be aware that the main source of spread is from the transport of infected ash plant parts. When visiting the countryside, the public are being asked not to move ash trees and leaves and take steps to remove the mud from their boots, clothes, bicycles, baby buggies and dogs.