Dieback survey results next week
A scientific update on the Chalara fraxinea fungus which is threatening the UK’s ash trees is expected "in the middle of next week".
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson chaired a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee today where ministers all the devolved administrations discussed the risks of the disease with scientists, the Forestry Commission, and others.
The fungal infection, which has already killed 90% of the ash tree population in Denmark, has been found in East Anglia, with 100,000 trees already destroyed in the UK to try and stop the spread of the disease.
Mr Paterson defended the Government’s handling of the crisis, insisting it had done “the right thing at the right time” by imposing an import ban this week.
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman also defended the Government’s response, and stressed the importance of properly co-ordinating the action.
“We are taking the action necessary; the Secretary of State is very seized of the urgency of the situation. We are still trying to get a better understanding of the science and the way this is being spread... The important thing is to make sure that that activity is co-ordinated... We acted as soon as we found out about the disease back in February.”