§ Mr. Ron Davies
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimates the Forestry Commission has made of the level of ash die-back in each of the counties of England, Scotland and Wales.
§ Mr. John MacKay
No estimates have been made by the Forestry Commission of the level of ash die-back on a national scale by counties.
The incidence of this condition in woodlands is minimal. It is, however, more significant in non-woodland trees and appears to be related to the intensity of agricultural activity, particularly in areas of arable farming. The census of woodlands and trees carried out by the Forestry Commission between 1979 and 1982, on a county basis in England and Wales and a Forestry Commission Conservancy basis in Scotland, provides some information on the health of non-woodland ash trees, but this does not differentiate between ash die-back and other causes of poor health, such as old age.