Spread of Chalara in Northwest Scotland Leads to Review of Action Plan
Forestry Commission Scotland has reported the presence of Chalara at three locations a “sheltered area” in northwest Scotland.
Two of the locations where the disease has recently been confirmed are in Morvern, whilst the third is in Glen Nant, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserve south east of Oban.
The “sheltered area” was established in 2013 as part of the Commission’s Chalara Action Plan , aiming to delay the arrival of the disease in mature woodlands in north-west Scotland.
In light of this news, Scotland’s Evioronment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod has called for a review of the action plan. She said:
“Forestry Commission Scotland and the forestry sector have worked extremely hard over the past three years surveying, investigating and managing ash woodlands in a bid to slow down the rate of spread of this disease and prevent new points of infection from recent plantings, particularly in the sheltered area.
“The sheltered area’s comparative remoteness offered some prospect of delaying the arrival of the disease but, regrettably, this now appears not to have been the case.
“I have asked Forestry Commission Scotland to review the Chalara Action Plan, with advice from the Scottish Tree Health Advisory Group, to assess what more can be done to promote adaptive action and to consider the appropriateness of current actions within the sheltered and buffer areas.”