DEFRA has announced a major project to find ash trees resistant to chalara, or ash dieback. The £1.5million project is part of the latest Chalara Management Plan and aims to plant 250,000 trees at 25 sites, mainly in East Anglia.

The Government had already allocated £8million towards research into the various diseases and pests that affect the UK’s trees. And from this month, landowners can apply for grants to plant other trees in areas where they would have planted ash.

DEFRA scientists and the Forestry Commission will work with local landowners to monitor trees for signs of the disease. Work carried out by Cambridge University last autumn supported the theory that chalara is an airborne disease which may have been blown across from the Continent, making it impossible to prevent further spreading in the UK.

The rest of this article appears in the 10th April issue of Shooting Times.

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