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Press Statement - Ash Dieback

Monday, 29th October 2012

Statement from Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company.

The threat from the disease chalara fraxinea is potentially extremely severe for UK woodlands and landscapes. The ash is generally a robust and workmanlike tree, growing readily and used for tool handles and firewood. It is a very important tree in the Midlands and within The National Forest.  At the present time, it is unclear whether the current outbreaks can be controlled but even if they are there is an immense task to stop the risk of infection through imports and to track any new outbreaks. We support the Government treating this as an environmental emergency.

I am very aware that many people and businesses have planted ash trees with us and they will be concerned about the survival of those trees. We will do all we can to protect them and are absolutely following advice as it is issued.  There is some consolation in the fact that we plant so many trees in The National Forest, of varied species: we have always known this will increase our resilience.  But I have to say that the threat of disease will never be eliminated.

Please see related pages for more information and images and contact us directly if you need more advice.  We will update our website regularly.

Sophie Churchill, OBE
Chief Executive
National Forest Company

View Sophie's summary of latest news, knowledge and advice.