Devon

Exeter case of ash dieback is confirmed

A case of the tree disease ash dieback has been confirmed at a site in Devon.

The Forestry Commission (FC) said the Chalara fraxinea fungus had been found at a site west of Exeter.

The FC would not provide a specific location but said it was a "recently planted site" and the infection would remain contained.

The disease, which affects ash trees, was first confirmed in the UK in March. Since then 65 established woodlands have been affected.

The government has imposed an import ban on ash trees, and a nationwide survey is being carried out to find out how far the disease has spread.

It is also hoped scientists will find a natural resistance within the UK's population of ash trees which will make the next generation resilient.

Britain has 80 million ash trees which cover about 5% of all woodland and provide food and shelter for birds and more than 100 types of insect.

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