The County Times’ alarming story on the risk of losing West Sussex Ash trees to a highly destructive disease has sparked an immediate reaction from MEP Catherine Bearder.
The Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East, has spoken out about the Chalara fungus that’s spreading through the country and urges the European Union to improve ‘alert systems’ to prevent the spread.
She said: “[Ash trees] are not something our environment can afford to lose.
“We are now in a race against time to make sure this disease is contained.”
This also comes as the Government stated that 100,000 trees have been destroyed in an effort to prevent the spread.
Meanwhile, a ban on importing Ash trees has also been introduced by Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson.
Outbreaks have hit Germany, Netherlands, Romania and Belgium and the disease has already reportedly killed 90 per cent of Ash trees in Denmark.
The EU plant regime contains measures to prevent the introduction and spread within the EU of organisms harmful to plants.
But Catherine has this week asked the Commission if there is anything which can be done to improve the body.
She continued: “I have called on the Commission to introduce a Europe-wide alert system, which would trigger quicker action when outbreaks occur.”