Managing the Threat of Ash Die Back
As part of a proactive tree inspection regime, Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) is collecting data from its ongoing tree survey to assess the potential impact of Ash Die Back on MVDC's landholdings.
Whilst Ash Die Back is not a new tree disease, cases of it have begun to appear in the district and landowners are being asked to stay vigilant and follow current Forestry Commission guidelines.
Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor David Hawksworth CBE said, "As of April 2019 we will be directly managing all our woodland sites ourselves. We monitor our trees closely and endeavour to identify those trees that have some degree of resistance and should be retained, whilst there will be many that we cannot.
"Where appropriate, we will look at replanting replacement native trees to contribute towards Mole Valley's efforts at securing a resilient treescape. It had been estimated that around 7% of ash trees could have some resistance to this disease, but the latest research suggests this could be as much as 20%.
Our response to this has to balance the health and safety and financial implications with the need to try and preserve any potential disease resistant ash trees."
Ash Die Back is a tree disease and will not harm people. The disease has spread across Europe since the early 1990's and whilst it is thought to have come to the UK via infected plants.
The Tree Council launched the Ash Dieback: An Action Plan Toolkit, on 3 February 2019 in collaboration with the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA Science).
The meeting brought together representatives from Government agencies, Local Authorities, landowners, and other interested parties to share news, experience, and to show what they were doing as a guide to best practice on this issue. The meeting was attended by Councillor David Hawksworth CBE.