Horsham District Council is not aware of any cases of the Chalara dieback disease, which is spreading through ash trees across the country, being reported in the Horsham District, but residents should continue to remain vigilant as the situation could quickly change.
There has been significant coverage in the national media of recent cases of Chalara dieback being reported in other areas of the UK.
There have been recent unconfirmed cases of Chalara dieback within West Sussex but not in the Horsham District.
The disease is a threat to the UK’s population of ash trees, which comprise about 5.5 per cent of the total trees in the country.
The Forestry Commission is working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Food & Environment Agency (Fera) in seeking to contain potential outbreaks, and any reports of the disease should be sent to Defra or the Forestry Commission.
Restrictions have been placed on the importation of ash trees and the movement of ash trees within the UK to minimise the risk of any further introductions or spread of the disease while the plant health authorities assess the extent of the problem.
At this time, there are no restrictions to the movement of disease free ash logs and chips produced locally.
To report a suspected case, call the Defra helpline on 08459 33 55 77 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information, including videos and a pictorial guide to recognising the symptoms, is available on the Forestry Commission website at www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara.