1. ITV Report

Cobra meet over Ash Dieback crisis

Cobra, the Government's emergency committee, met today to discuss the threat posed by the Ash Dieback disease.

It's already wiped out up to 90% of ash trees in some areas of Denmark and has been found in woodlands across East Anglia.

The meeting was designed to help develop a response to help prevent it spreading further.

Concerns continue over Ash Dieback crisis Credit: ITV Anglia

The Government banned imports of ash trees on Monday but the discovery has increased fears that ash trees face the same fate as the elm, which was devastated by Dutch elm disease in the 1970s.

Approximately 100,000 trees have already been destroyed in a bid to prevent the disease spreading,

There are concerns that with the fungus now in the wider countryside, possibly arriving as spores are blown over the North Sea, it will be very hard to stop its spread in the UK.

Fears remain that the spread of the disease could have a dramatic impact on wildlife and lead to rare species being lost if it takes hold.

After Chalara ash dieback was identified at Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Lower Wood reserve, Ashwellthorpe, an ancient woodland and a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest, the trust's chairman warned of the potential threat to wildlife.

Downing Street said the meeting lasted for an hour and brought together officials from Defra, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Government's chief scientific adviser and the Forestry Commission.

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