Demand the UK Act Now to Stop Ash Dieback

  • By: Judith B.
  • Target: Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK

A disease as deadly as Dutch Elm Disease threatens the UK’s forests. Chalara fraxinea, a fungal disease that kills ash trees has already devastated mainland Europe and now the UK is at risk.

Chalara fraxinea makes ash tree leaves go brown and the branches to die back. It kills 90% of the trees affected and has already decimated the ash trees in Poland and Denmark.

It has now been found in mature forests managed by the Woodland Trust and it comes from imports. With Britain’s few remaining forests disappearing rapidly, the last thing the country needs is another lethal tree disease.

The coalition government has been taking an extremely relaxed approach to any sort of regulation, even in the case of an emergency like this. Waiting till the disease becomes established will be too late - action is needed now.

Tell the UK government to take action immediately, including a ban on all ash tree imports and a halt on planting.


We the undersigned ask that you take immediate action on Chalara fraxinea, a potentially devastating disease of ash trees. This disease wipes out almost all the trees it infects, and has already devastated the forests of Poland and Denmark.


Waiting to see whether the disease becomes established would be foolish in the extreme. Action is needed immediately, including a ban on ash tree imports and action on developing tests.


Our remaining forests need definitive protection, not bureaucratic procrastination, and we urge immediate urgent action be taken.


Thank you for your attention.

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