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Action for Ash
Ash dieback disease update 7th Dec 12
As the Government sets out objectives for tackling ash die back in a new strategy published by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, Surrey Wildlife Trust broadly welcomes the interim plan.
Rob Davies, Woodland Officer, Surrey Wildlife Trust, said: “We broadly welcome the Government’s interim Chalara Control Plan. Our belief from the start was that a science-led and precautionary approach should be taken to addressing the disease, and one with wildlife and ecology at its heart. The cure must not be worse than the cause. We are pleased that Government has taken this on board.
“As our knowledge of this disease is still evolving, the Government must continue to update its response as new scientific evidence becomes available.
“The impact of Chalara could be devastating, particularly for our unique upland ashwoods and the wide range of flora and fauna they support. The long-term objective must be to promote genetic resistance to this disease so that ash woodlands can naturally regenerate over time. We need further clarity on how best to manage our ash woodlands to give them the best chance to adapt and survive.”
The Wildlife Trusts are at the frontline of tackling the disease as ash dieback was first discovered at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Lower Wood nature reserve, Ashwellthorpe and then Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Arger Fen nature reserve.
Rob Davies added: “The Wildlife Trusts will play our part in helping to address this, and other, diseases through the mechanisms Government is establishing.”
Mature ash trees affected by the disease initially display dieback of the shoots and twigs at the periphery of their crowns. Dense clumps of foliage may also be seen further back on the branches where recovery shoots are produced. Small lens-shaped lesions or necrotic spots appear on the bark and enlarge to form perennial cankers, which cause wilting and dieback of shoots and branches.
To report a sighting of ash dieback disease in Surrey, please email: email@example.com.
Symptons of ash dieback disease