AQW 49910/11-16

Mr Alex Easton
Democratic Unionist Party
North Down

Tabled Date: 19/10/2015
Answered On Date: 03/11/2015
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development whether Ash Dieback is present in the wider environment; and what steps her Department is taking to address the issue.

Ash Dieback has recently been detected in hedgerow ash at 3 locations in proximity to infected recently planted sites in the north of Ireland. Further surveys in 2016 will determine more fully the extent of any spread of Ash Dieback to established ash in the wider environment locally.
Since the first finding of the disease in autumn 2012, Forest Service Plant Health Inspection Branch has been proactive in managing the disease risk through implementing the All Ireland Chalara Control Strategy and to date have removed over 96,000 affected recently planted ash trees.
Scientists in AFBI are undertaking local research in order to understand the nature of the disease, and have engaged with European experts to gain a better understanding of the disease situation on the island of Ireland.