Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Plans for early tree disease detecting system backed

09:07 15 February 2013

Scientists are working on tree disease detection devices which could have helped prevent the ash dieback outbreak last year.

Scientists are working on tree disease detection devices which could have helped prevent the ash dieback outbreak last year.

SUFFOLK woodland experts have welcomed scientists’ plans to develop an early tree disease warning system – which could have prevented the ash dieback outbreak.

shares

Scientists at Syngenta, a crop research company, are working on a device which would identify plant diseases blowing across the sea from the continent.

The network of detectors, positioned in fields along the East Coast, would filter fungal and bacterial spores from the air before conducting tests and raising the alarm if harmful diseases were recognised.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) chief executive Julian Roughton said the device could help prevent the spread of outbreaks similar to ash dieback if it proved to be a long-term success.

He said: “I welcome anything that attempts to help in the prevention and detection of tree diseases, and it would be interesting to know how it would work in practice.

“There is great concern about a whole new range of diseases affecting our wildlife which would have a very significant impact, so this is very positive news.

“Once the disease becomes established it becomes extraordinarily difficult to eradicate, so the more action we can take the better.”

Mr Roughton, who previously said Suffolk was at the “frontline” of the disease, urged for further investment in the monitoring of diseases arriving from Europe following the ash dieback outbreak.

The disease went unnoticed for up to 10 years, allowing it to spread in mature woodland.

Mr Roughton said: “We were caught completely unawares and it is absolutely clear tree diseases and the investment in the prevention of them does not get the attention they deserve.

“There is a whole sweep of tree diseases but at least with these plans it does seem now the Government appears to be giving substance to the aspiration that we need to do more to tackle tree diseases.”

Meanwhile, West Suffolk Reserves assistant Giles Cawston questioned the practicalities of the proposed system, but said he would support any scheme aimed to help combat tree diseases.

He said: “I welcome any plans to help fight tree diseases, but if the devices are in fields then it means the disease is already here.

“Hopefully they will prove to be successful, but it’s not just wind that brings in the disease – importation of trees, wooded packaging and climate change, when it is not as cold in the winter to kill off the diseases, all contribute.

“But the diseases are definitely not going to ruin our countryside. Not all of them were affected.”

shares

0 comments

Yum Yums Cookery School, a nonprofit community organisation which runs cookery classes at primary schools in Ipswich, has received funding worth £500. Children at Whitehouse Primary celebrating the news. Adults L-R Dawn Burrows, Charlotte Burrows, Ron Impey, Emma Youngman.

An after-school cookery class scheme is celebrating after receiving a vital funding boost.

Foxglove Gardens

There is a dip in Foxhall Road, a depression that is in geographical terms the start of the Mill River, writes John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

Auschwitz Birkenau

The stories of the holocaust have been recounted in history lessons for decades but there is a difference between what we read in books and what we see for ourselves as 15 Suffolk pupils discovered on a visit to Auschwitz .

Firefighters from Essex and Suffolk tackled the fire at Ashen.

Firefighters from Suffolk and Essex spent much of Saturday night tackling a blaze in a 3,000-tonne stack of straw at Ashen, near Stoke by Clare.

Should cyclists be allowed to go through red traffic lights when it is safe?

A cyclist rode through a red light and turned left while I was walking the dog this week. It was 6.20am, there was no other traffic so no risk but, officially, the cyclist had broken the law.

Once upon a time, shopping was my therapy, writes mum-of-three Ellen Widdup.

Air ambulance. Stock image

The air ambulance was called to the A12 at the Wangford bypass at around 5.40pm following reports that a woman had been injured in a car crash involving two vehicles.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24