Officials confirm county’s first case of the ash dieback disease

Ash dieback
Ash dieback

A tree disease called Chalara has been confirmed in East Sussex.

The disease is also known as ash dieback and it has been confirmed in woodland in the county.

Following the urgent nationwide survey to seek out traces of the disease in woods and forests across the country, East Sussex has become the eleventh county in England where Chalara has been discovered.

The other counties are Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, West Sussex, Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Northumberland.

The disease has now been confirmed in 237 sites including 127 locations in the wider environment.

Chalara is likely to have been in this country for at least two years but has only recently been discovered in forests and woodland as a result of the intensive survey carried out of sites across the country where ash trees are known to be present.

Martin Ward, chief plant health officer, said, “Although the rate at which we are discovering new areas infected with Chalara is slowing, there are still results coming through from our surveying exercise earlier this month and reports from landowners and the public.

“The better informed we are, the more effective we can be in our work to contain the spread and also the impact of this disease.”

The ash tree is a native British species of tree, providing around five percent of all woodland cover.

Chalara is a serious disease that has affected a high proportion of ash trees in northern Europe and which was confirmed as present in nursery stock in the UK in March.

A map showing all locations with confirmed cases of Chalara is available at www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara.