Trailblazing ash dieback efforts highlighted in environmental report

Spotlight shines on council's leading efforts to tackle deadly tree disease

Group of trees suffering from ash dieback

Work by Leicestershire County Council in the national fight against ash dieback has been recognised in a new report.

The highly destructive disease, caused by a fungus, can lead to infected trees shedding branches or limbs, or potentially falling as the tree dies.

The report by UK100, a network of local leaders pledging a rapid transition to Net Zero and Clean Air in local communities, has highlighted the pioneering work by the county council.

Alongside adding the disease to the corporate risk register and work across departments to help tackle the issue, there is a specific Ash Dieback Action Plan which also includes efforts to talk to landowners who have ash trees on private land.

Training, including a booklet full of help and advice on ash dieback for landowners, is also available. The county’s 130 tree wardens also support the proactive work in the battle, with the report stating up to 112 million ash trees could be lost across the country.

Whilst there are no exact figures for the number of ash trees in Leicestershire, estimates put the number at around 500,000, with around 120,000 of them at the side of roads.

Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for environment and the green agenda, said: "We are naturally pleased to be recognised for our work by the UK100 team. This is an issue we, and every council should be taking seriously. We are fighting a battle at a time when trees are needed more than ever before to offset carbon emissions and improve the character and visual appearance of our county.”

“I’m proud of the effort our teams put in to tackle the problem of ash dieback and protect trees in Leicestershire, and only emphasises our fantastic initiative of planting 700,000 trees across Leicestershire.”

Information and help with ash dieback, as well as more about planting 700,000 trees can be found on the trees section of the website.

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