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Ash tree action plan to be released

A plan of action to tackle the deadly ash dieback decision is expected to be published today.

Its recommendations will include:

  • Better awareness raising and information-gathering
  • To continue surveying areas to watch out for disease and resistance
  • To focus the action on newly-planted trees, and not by cutting down older trees

The report comes after a tree health summit was convened to discuss the problem of ash tree disease - where around one hundred people came together to look over the the results of a nationwide survey of forests and woodlands.

Over the past few days hundreds of people from government agencies and other groups around the country urgently surveyed thousands of areas of land across the country to look for areas affected by ash dieback.

It was the largest operation of its kind ever undertaken.

"We called this summit to bring together the best ideas from experts and all who care for our forests so that we can urgently prepare an action plan on how to tackle Chalara and better protect our trees for the future.

Many of the idease discussed today are extremely interesting, and our scientists and plant health experts will examine them urgently and include the most effective ones in an action plan"

– Owen Paterson, Environment Secretary

More cases of ash dieback disease found in region

Two new cases of ash dieback disease have been discovered in the North East.

They are in established woods or forests in the Wooler area of Northumberland and near Guisborough.

The four cases announced earlier this week between Newcastle and Richmond were detected in saplings rather than in mature trees.

The Government says the latest discoveries do not mean the disease is spreading rapidly - it could have been present in these areas for several years.


Ash dieback disease found in Northumberland

A new survey has revealed that more cases of ash dieback disease have been confirmed in the region.

Further cases of the tree disease Chalara, also known as ash dieback, have been confirmed in woodland in Sussex, Berkshire, Bedfordshire,Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Northumberland.

The disease has now been confirmed in more than one hundred sites, but it is not thought that the disease is rapidly spreading - but has in fact been undiscovered and was originally caused by spores blown in from mainland Europe over a number of years.

The ash tree is a native British species of tree, providing around five percent of all woodland cover for the country.

Chalara is a serious disease that has affected a high proportion of ash trees in northern Europe

“The science on Chalara is still emerging and the more evidence we have, the greater our knowledge and understanding of this disease and the better we are able to tackle it."

– Martin Ward, Chief Plant Health Officer

Confirmed cases of ash tree disease spark concern

Serious concerns have been raised for the region's forests after the discovery of four confirmed cases of ash dieback disease.

The fungal infection is threatening to wipe out Britain's ash population and has already caused a political storm over the Government's handling of the crisis.

The confirmed cases are in recently planted Ash sites near Richmond in North Yorkshire, Newton Aycliffe and Seaham in County Durham and Newcastle.

The disease is easily spread and it has sparked major worries for many more of the area's natural woodlands - especially in the Lake District National Park where there are significant ash populations.