UK facing ash tree 'disaster'
The deadly disease threatening the UK's ash trees is a "disaster" that will change the countryside "very significantly", the chief scientific advisor to Defra has warned.
A ban on the import of ash trees will come into force tomorrow in an attempt to halt the spread of the disease, which has already killed 90% of ash trees in Denmark and has been found in East Anglia.
Professor Ian Boyd claimed there was still a "slight possibility" that ash trees in the UK would have an innate resistance to the disease, but said we "have to accept that this is a bit of a disaster".
"I think Denmark have had bitter experience of this and I think we have to take what they’re saying at face value," he told the World this Weekend.
"Ecologically it’s going to change the countryside very significantly. And of course parallels have been made with the Dutch elm disease of the 1970s. In general this is not good news for the countryside."
It comes after the Government’s response to the disease was criticised by the Forestry Commission, who claim the Coalition was slow to warn people about the problem.