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Three new cases of Ash Dieback disease

There have now been 17 cases of Ash Dieback in Wales Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

Three new cases of the Ash Dieback disease have been discovered in west Wales. Forestry Commission Wales say it was found at three newly-planted sites in private woodlands during a “trace forward” inspection of young trees sourced from known infected nurseries.

The three latest confirmed infections in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion bring the total sites in Wales to 17. Forestry Commission Wales staff are checking all known recent ash plantings to establish the full extent of the outbreak, which has yet to be discovered beyond new planting sites in Wales.

John Browne, FC Wales Head of Forest Regulation and Tree Health, said “While these newly confirmed infections have extended the known distribution of this disease in Wales, there is still no evidence that Chalara is present in the wider environment here.”

The disease was first recorded in Britain in early 2012 in Leicestershire and is known to have spread to the wider environment in the south-east of England from spores which are believed to have been blown across the English Channel and North Sea.

According to a census of Wales' forests last year, there are 17,600 hectares of ash in Wales which represents 6.8% of the woodlands in the country.