§ Mr. Dudley Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what he estimates to be the total cost of felling trees which are dying or have died of Dutch elm disease and replacing them with new ones.
§ Mr. Denis Howell
In the Forestry Commission's 1975 survey is was estimated that some 6½ million elm trees were dying or had died from Dutch elm disease in the current outbreak. The cost918W of felling and of replanting at this level will vary according to the circumstances but making some allowance for the 1 million trees already felled, the limited proceeds from the sale of timber, the replanting that has already taken place, the likely extent of natural regeneration and other factors, the total cost of felling and replanting, might fall in the range £120–150 million. I much regret that in my reply of 7th August to the hon. Member's similar Question, which was based on the Commission's 1974 survey, the figure given was inaccurate.