But there is a bigger, more long-term issue that this crisis has shown; that Britain is woefully short of the expertise in plant diseases needed to keep our flora – from lichen to giant trees – safe from invasive and potentially deadly viruses that have the power to radically alter the landscape.

It is worth remembering that while diseases like ash dieback are a concern for the majority because of the impact it will have on the countryside, there are financial implications too, both in attempting to control the spread of the disease and in the loss of valuable standing timber.

Over many years a general neglect of rural concerns has been a feature of successive Governments.

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/forestry-experts-countryside-risk/story-17222671-detail/story.html

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