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    Government help needed to fight ash dieback in King’s Lynn

    Government help may be needed to help protect trees in Kings Lynn, West Norfolk from the spread of disease, county officials have warned. Options for measures to battle ash dieback, also known as chalara, are set to be discussed by a Norfolk County Council committee later this week.

    Although the condition is more common in other parts of the county, figures released by the authority show that around one in six trees in the county’s western maintenance area are already showing its signs. A report to the council’s environment, development and transport committee, which will examine the issue at a meeting on Friday, also warned: “There are now very few trees that are not showing signs of infection by chalara in Norfolk.”

    A report to the council’s environment, development and transport committee, which will examine the issue at a meeting on Friday, also warned: “There are now very few trees that are not showing signs of infection by chalara in Norfolk.”

    Committee chairman Martin Wilby said: “Not only will we be seeking to identify the trees on our own land that are or could be affected by chalara, we will also be working with landowners so we can work cooperatively to tackle this issue.

    “This work will not come for free so we will be looking for financial support from Defra for tree surgery and felling work, and seeking grants to help with replanting from organisations such as Defra, the Woodland Trust and the Tree Council.”

    The authority plans to work with landowners to raise awareness of the issue, the Suffolk and Essex county councils to develop local action plans, plus Defra, the CLA, National Farmers Union, the Forestry Commission and the John Innes Centre on research looking into resistance to the disease.

    Ash dieback is a disease caused by a fungus called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus.

     

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