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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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First ash dieback disease case confirmed in Cumbria

The first case of the killer tree disease ash dieback has been confirmed in Cumbria.

The Forestry Commission says the disease has been found at a tree nursery in Aspatria.

There are now 135 confirmed cases in the UK.

A people’s army is being recruited to help slow down the spread of the disease.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the search for ash dieback will now enter towns and cities with help from the public.

After chairing a Government emergency meeting, Mr Owen said it would not be possible to eradicate the disease, only slow its spread.

Designating protected zones will be established in the coming weeks to free up trade in ash from areas free of the disease. Plant passports will be issued to registered traders.

And a tree health early warning network to provide advice, screening and initial diagnosis will be set up.

Information on the disease, including videos on how to identify the disease can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara.

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