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Wednesday, April 24 2013

Antidote needed to save our ash trees

More research is needed into an antidote to save Britains ash woodlands or they may be lost to the nation


Sir, Since the 1970s, with the importation of Dutch elm disease, and then in 1992, when ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) was identified in Poland, successive British governments, aided and abetted by the European Union, have carelessly allowed all manner of noxious imports into Britain. Following the horrific effects of Dutch elm disease, thousands of hectares of woods are now being destroyed by phytophthora. To compound this devastation, 142,000 hectares of the nations ash woodland (our own most numerous deciduous forest species) could now be virtually annihilated by Chalara fraxinea, an elimination unprecedented since the last Ice Age. Some companies working in the private sector believe an effective and practical antidote can be developed to save the ash which, otherwise, on the experience of Denmark, will mostly be dead by 2023. If the ash cannot be saved, clearing the resulting havoc of dead and dying ash, and consequential windblow of other species, will be a horrendous task. The countryside will be ravaged for a generation. On behalf of all those who love our ash woods and hedgerows, we urge this Government, which is bearing the savage burden of past governments negligence, to embrace research into an antidote to save the nations ash woodlands.

The Earl of Annandale and Hartfell; The Viscount Ashbrook; Sir Nicholas Bacon Bt; Mr Lawrence Banks; Mr Miles Barne; Mr Michael Barstow; The Earl Bathurst; Mr John Berkeley; The Viscount Bledisloe; Lord Bolton; Mr Ian Bond; The Hon Evelyn Boscawen; Mr Nicholas Bostock; Sir Simon Bowes Lyon; Mr Richard Bradford; Mr Andrew Bronwin; Mr Roland Brown; Mr David Brotherton; Sir John Buchanan-Jardine Bt; Mr Lindsay Bury; The Hon Rupert Carington; Mr John Cave; Mrs Rose Clay; Sir Kenneth Carlisle; Lord Cavendish of Furness; Lord Clinton; Lord Clitheroe; Mr Edward Clive; Mr Richard Compton; Mr Thomas Cook; Mr Paul Cooper; The Earl of Cork and Orrery; Mr George Courtauld; The Countess of Cranbrook; Mr Aidan Cuthbert; Mr John Dalton; Miss Anne Davis FRCS; Mr Charles Dent; Lord Derwent; The Viscount Downe; The Marquess of Downshire; Mrs Maldwin Drummond; The Hon David Dugdale; The Hon Jake Duncombe; Mr Rupert Eley; Sir Henry Elwes; Mr Mark Evans; Mr Simon Fairbank; Lord Fairhaven; Sir Michael Farquhar Bt; Colonel Iain Ferguson; Mr James Fife; Mr

Charles Forbes Adam; Lady Forester; Mr Anthony Fuller; Mr Roger Gabb; Mr Philip Godsal; Mr Peter Greenwood; Mr Carol Gurney; The Earl of Halifax; Mr Stephen Habershon; Mr Stephen Hopkins; Lord Hotham; Mr Denzil How; The Hon Simon Howard; Gillian Lady Howard de Walden; Sir Peter Hutchison Bt; Lord Iliffe; Mr James Ingall; Sir Thomas Ingilby Bt; Mr Michael Jardine Paterson; Mr John Jenyns; Mr Hugh Johnson; Lord Kenyon; Mrs Arabella Killander; Lady King; Mr Roy Lancaster; Mr David Langridge; The Marquess of Lansdowne; Mr Christopher Legard; Mr Andrew Leslie; Auriol, Marchioness of Linlithgow; Mr George Llewellyn; Lord Edward Manners; Mr Michael McLaren QC; Mr Charles S McVeigh III; The Earl of Mexborough; Lord Middleton; Prof Sir Anthony Milnes Coates Bt; Mr Stewart Minton Beddoes; Mr William Montgomery; Mr David Morrison; Mr Robin Murray Philipson; Mr Justin Mumford; Major General Murray Naylor; The Marquess of Normanby; Mr Christopher Palmer-Tompkinson; The Hon Richard Pleydell- Bouverie; Mr Mark Preston; Mr and Mrs Oliver Rena; Lady Renton of Mount Harry; Mr Alastair Robinson; The Earl of Romney; The Hon James Savile; Mr and Mrs Charles Scott; Sir James Scott Bt; Mr Robert Scott; Mr Julian Sheffield; The Duke of Somerset; The Hon Michael Spring-Rice; Mr Kenelm Storey; Sir Richard Storey Bt; Mr Andrew Sutcliffe QC; Sir Tatton Sykes Bt; Mr Graham Taylor; Mr Luke ThompsonCoon; Mrs Harriet Tupper; Mr Audley Twiston-Davies; Lord Vestey; Mr Edward Wake; Sir Humphry Wakefield Bt; Mr Timothy Whiteley; Mr Charles Williams; Major Tom Wills; Mr George Winn Darley; Sir William Worsley Bt; Mr Nicholas Wrigley; Mr Charles Wyvill; Colonel Edward York