Defra asks citizens to help identify healthy ash trees across UK
The Living Ash Project is encouraging citizens to help in finding a solution to the ash dieback disease.
Launched in 2013 and funded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the £1.2M project aims to find at least 400 tolerant native ash trees from which to breed the next generation of healthy trees.
Members of the public are encouraged to obtain a special aluminium tag to fix to healthy ash trees and submit basic details about the tree on-line, together with a photo.
"As spring advances and leaves begin to appear, now is the perfect time to identify the signs of ash dieback – wilting growth and possibly even bark lesions", Defra experts underlined.
Defra’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spence, said: ‘’Defra is very pleased to be able to support this important project. Not many people may know that 46 species of plants and animals can only live on ash trees, so it’s not only the trees we will be saving.”
Living Ash Project’s lead Dr Jo Clark added: "We really need the help of the public to find healthy ash trees across the country. We’re asking anyone that spends time in the countryside and cares about our woodlands to keep their eyes open for healthy trees in areas of ash dieback and if they spot a healthy tree, report it on the project website.”
Ash tags are available free of charge from the Living Ash Project on www.livingashproject.org.uk.