Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Shooters and anglers urged to look out for ash dieback

Ash dieback disease, caused by infection by the Chalara fraxinea fungus, could be detrimental to the British countryside, and shooters and anglers are being urged to do their bit to help reduce its spread.
Anyone who spends time in the outdoors should look out for and report any signs of infected trees.
At the time of writing, there are more than 110 confirmed infected sites. The disease is mainly spread on the wind. Once infected, a tree cannot be cured and must be destroyed and removed from the woodland. With ash being the dominant species in vast swathes of British woodland (as is the case in my locality) the potential impact is unthinkable.

Tim Russell, BASC director of conservation, said: “Everyone involved in shooting should look out for the signs of infected trees such as lesions and cankers on the bark and, in the spring, die back of foliage. The risk of woodland users spreading the disease is said to be small.
"BASC is asking people involved in shooting on sites where infection has been confirmed or is suspected to take precautions against the possibility of spreading spores between different areas of woodland. This could include washing boots and vehicle wheels. Any signs of the disease should be reported to the Forestry Commission or the Food and Environment Research Agency.”
Suspected cases should be reported to the Forestry Commission at plant.health@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

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