§ Mr. Latham
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action or research his Department has commissioned 278W into the threat to ash trees through the phenomenon known as die-back; and what is the number of trees thought to have been lost so far as a result of this.
§ Mr. John MacKay
A detailed survey of the incidence of Ash die-back was carried out in east and central England in early 1983 by the department of forestry at Oxford university. It is currently undertaking a research programme, to which the Forestry Commission has made a financial contribution, to identify and examine the main cause or causes of this phenomenon.
Although Ash die-back can be found throughout Great Britain, no reliable information is available on the number of trees affected.