Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Suffolk: County “on the frontline” of ash dieback onslaught as 42nd case identified

09:04 15 November 2012

Oliver Rackman, left and Suffolk Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Julian Roughton inspect the trees for ash die back at Bradfield Woods, Bradfield St George, Suffolk.

Oliver Rackman, left and Suffolk Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Julian Roughton inspect the trees for ash die back at Bradfield Woods, Bradfield St George, Suffolk.

Archant

SUFFOLK has nearly a quarter of the UK’s confirmed cases of ash dieback - with one expert claiming the county is on the frontline of the disease’s onslaught.

shares

Forty-two cases of the deadly Chalara dieback have now been identified in woodlands and nurseries across Suffolk.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust chief executive Julian Roughton - who revealed four out of six of the organisation’s ancient woodland sites now have confirmed cases of dieback - said the large-scale death of ash could have cultural as well as environmental implications.

Speaking at Bradfield Woods near Bury St Edmunds, which is awaiting results after more samples of ash were sent away to the Forestry Commission’s plant health team for examination, Mr Roughton said he was particularly concerned about the fate of ancient trees and “coppice stools” that have been managed by humans since medieval times.

He said: “Suffolk seems to be at the frontline of the Chalara dieback and we have been having samples taken from all of our reserves and from our six ancient woodlands.

“Four have now come back with confirmed presence of Chalara and at one of the sites we are seeing dieback of natural regeneration,” he added. “The concern is that Chalara does particularly affect young regrowth and therefore coppice maybe more vulnerable to it.”

Coppicing in some Suffolk sites, such as Bradfield Woods, dates back to 1252 and is viewed as a unique connection with with past cultures.

Mr Roughton said: “It is the way this wood has been managed for hundreds and hundreds of years. One of the things that is so amazing is the direct link the trees provide with the medieval management of this wood.

“It is a physical contact with that world. These are the trees that were around then, which is amazing.”

Mr Roughton said if coppicing is found to make trees more vulnerable to disease there would be “enormous implications” for how the trust manages their woodlands.

He was speaking yesterday as renowned woodland specialist Professor Oliver Rackham visited Suffolk to look for evidence of the toxic fungus.

He said: “We need to wait and find out. There seems to be very little hard information on this even from continental countries where the disease has been known for many years. I am not going to lose my head about this until stronger evidence emerges.”

Professor Rackham said he had not seen any evidence of Chalara fraxinea fungus in Bradfield Woods.

Bull’s Wood in Cockfield, Arger Fen near Assington, Bonny Wood, near Needham Market, Comb’s Wood, near Stowmarket, all have confirmed cases of the disease.

Dozens more cases are scattered throughout the county.

According to the Forestry Commission, there are 184 confirmed infections in the UK - 114 in established woodland, 55 in recently planted sites and 15 in nursery sites.

All of Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s woods remain open.

A spokesman for the Foresty Commision advised visitors to woods to remove mud and leaf litter from their shoes before leaving.

Related articles

shares

0 comments

Two fire crews have tackled a blaze involving a container full of rubbish.

Two fire crews have tackled a blaze in a shipping container at a site in Henley Road, Ipswich.

Benefit cheat in court

An Ipswich benefit cheat has been spared prison after she fiddled more than £15,000 in false claims over 29 months.

Dancers preparing for Inspire Suffolk's Strictly event.

Inspire Suffolk has teamed up with Ipswich School of Dancing to train 10 local amateur dancers in preparation for a Strictly Come Dancing-style fundraising event in July.

Drink-drivers in court

A two-time drink-driver who crashed into the rear of another car while more than twice the limit has lost his licence.

A BMW X1

Hundreds of thousands of pounds were spent on luxury cars for managers by the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) in the past year, it has emerged.

Gemma Grace, from Ipswich, speaks about living with autism.

Autism is not an illness, it is just a different way of seeing the world.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A nuisance neighbour who even kept ducks in her house has been given 14 days to get out of her east Ipswich home by the town’s magistrates.

The scene of a fight at Barclays Bank in Ipswich - photos Jess Portway

Frightened staff and customers at an Ipswich town centre bank locked themselves in offices during a violent brawl between two groups of men from rival Romanian families, a court has heard.

Two teenagers have been arrested following the death of a 14 year old boy after an incident at an address in Thurston.

Friends of a 13-year-old schoolboy from Thurston who died after being shot with an air rifle have paid tribute.

Runners of all ages got together in Bank Holiday Monday for the Felixstowe fun run.

Hundreds of eager runners gathered along the Felixstowe seafront this morning in their best fancy dress for the annual Rotary Club of Felixstowe Fun Run.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24