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Ash tree disease puts wildlife at risk


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.