Dr Robin Sen, who has highlighted the threat of ash dieback on the BBC this weekend, said that the ash spread is a result of ‘trade gone mad’ and proves the danger of putting global markets before their biological repercussions.

“Politicians are saying we couldn’t have stopped the import of ash because it’s a free market within the EU, but that doesn’t stop you having security controls over products that could cause a threat to the wellbeing of another member state,” he said.

“It’s opened up a Pandora’s box.”