Ramblers offer ash dieback advice to walkers

Amidst growing fears about the spread of ‘ash dieback’ and what it means for Britain’s trees the Ramblers today (1 November) issues advice for woodland walkers.

Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease, causes by a fungus, which affects ash trees and can lead to tree death. The Ramblers follows the expert guidance from the Forestry Commission who have advised that continued public access does not pose a significant risk to the spread of Chalara dieback of Ash. In sites where there is an infection walkers are asked to follow any information on the official signs posted (in terms of disinfecting boots etc) to keep this risk to a minimum.

One of the best defences we have against further spread is responding swiftly to outbreaks. By knowing the signs of the disease and spotting them early the threat of the disease will hopefully be reduced. Woodland walkers can act as an extra set of eyes, reporting any trees which they suspect may be infected to the Forestry Commission.

The advice which the Ramblers gives to walkers is:

  • Always follow the information and advice on any official signs at sites affected by Ash dieback to avoid accidentally spreading the disease.
  • Learn how to spot signs of the disease – guidance can be found at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara
  • Look out for signs on ash trees where you are walking
  • Report any suspicion of infected trees to the Forestry Commission immediately

Justin Cooke, Ramblers Senior Policy Officer, said:

“The tragic news about Ash dieback reaching Britain need not stop people from enjoying a woodland walk this autumn.

“Walkers, who often know their local woodland well, can play an important role in identifying trees which they suspect might be infected and reporting them to the Forestry Commission.”

Suspected cases of the disease can be reported directly to the Forestry Commission at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara