My own nursery, Wyevale Nurseries of Hereford, stands to lose some £150,000 worth (sale value) of healthy ash trees, carefully grown here and nurtured over years. More crops are in the process of maturing. Movement of these trees is now banned, and regardless, demand has ceased, they will now likely never be sold. The delay in government action has probably trashed our heritage and our legacy – and the value of our nursery crops (as well as my own family name).

There will be some, 5% to 10%, it is said, in the natural population that are resistant to the disease. Our task is to find these and understand how to concentrate that trait, propagate a wide gene pool and offer them back into the landscape.

The Cobra committee’s meeting must be followed by a taskforce of the best of British brains and practitioners, to promote a resurgence of the ash.