Seminar puts focus on collaborative approaches to ash dieback

Over 80 delegates from the landowning, forestry, local authority and conservation sectors attended a day-long field visit and workshop on ash dieback on 16 June, hosted by the Woodland Trust at its Pound Farm woods in Suffolk.

Image: Forestry Commission
Image: Forestry Commission

The site was one of the first in the UK where the disease was identified, in 2012, and is now clearly showing its effects both in the woods and in the wider landscape. It also hosts a Forest Research trial to identify resistant ash trees.

Woodland Trust director of conservation Austin Brady, said: "It's clear that a collaborative response to tree disease is essential, and we intend to try and further facilitate information sharing like this to collectively develop the range of solutions we will all need.

"We must take the opportunity to look at how we manage entire landscapes and increase the diversity of tree species both within woods and elsewhere. By working with the nursery sector we can plan ahead to ensure the trees we plant for the future are sourced appropriately."

The trust is already offering "Disease Recovery Packs" at a heavily subsidised cost to help landowners combat the loss of countryside trees in Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, East Sussex and Northumberland, the areas of England most severely affected by ash dieback.

Each tree pack contains 45 trees from five native broadleaf species and is supplied with protective tubes and stakes.

The packs form part of the trust's £4.5m investment in native tree stock, which ensures all trees it supplies are grown only in the UK from fully traceable seed stock.

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