RSPB Scotland has reacted to the Scottish Government’s Interim Chalara Control Plan, which was launched this morning.
The plan, agreed between UK Government and devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, outlines the short-term action for dealing with ash dieback. A more detailed plan is expected in March next year.
Stuart Housden, RSPB Scotland Director, says: ‘We are encouraged by the Scottish Government’s initial plans to tackle ash dieback following the environment minister’s summit last month. Nevertheless, this is only a partial step towards tackling the plethora of new pests and diseases being imported into Scotland. We need a stronger approach to prevent these threats from arriving in the first place.
‘Now is not the time to give up the fight on ash dieback, and there is still a role for sensitively removing newly-planted infected trees where this helps halt the spread and protect mature native ash woods, particularly in the uplands, as well as ash trees in hedgerows and towns. Ash trees and woodland are important for nature, and we will be working to ensure the next version of this plan seeks to both protect and enhance wildlife.’