As a small woodland owner and tree-lover, my heart is being torn to shreds by the all-too-imminent threat of Ash Die-off (Chalara fraxinea), but I also know that I must make crucial decisions in order to best protect our community of trees and wildlife without going financially bankrupt.

My conclusion is that EU free trade policy (not to mention globalised free trade ideology) has left our trees wide open to infection, as never before, and that without a massive change in ideology and subsequent policy, the open door will continue to admit more and more pathogens.

The first priority must be strict bio-security measures.

All our ancestors have lived with this tree for tens of thousands of years. Can we let them go, first, without doing our utmost to protect them from ourselves. Do not complain if access to the woods is denied, but consider it to be your personal contribution to their survival. And if the Ash should come to an early and unnecessary end, then do not let it and its rich woodland world pass away without, at least, a change of heart.