Ash tree disease puts wildlife at risk
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Friday 26 October 2012
A disease severely threatening millions of Britain’s ash trees could have significant knock-on effects on wildlife, from moths to wood mice, it emerged yesterday.
The fungal disease, Chalara fraxinea was found for the first time this week in mature trees in Britain, in woodlands in Norfolk and Suffolk, although it was detected in imported saplings eight months ago.
But it is not just the trees themselves which are at risk, a leading wildlife expert said. Many small creatures, in particular, more than 60 rare insects are heavily dependent on ash and will be severely threatened if their home trees disappear.
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