New drone photography and film footage has revealed the true extent of the highly destructive ash tree disease, Ash Dieback.
Captured at the National Trust's Hughenden Estate in Buckinghamshire, the shocking footage shows the dying ash trees in Hanging Wood. Among a riot of autumnal colour, the footage reveals shrivelled and wilted leaves — many of which will need to be chopped down over the next few months.
Ash Dieback, a devastating fungus which causes leaf loss and the crown to die back, has resulted in great devastation to the Trust's woodland area.
Beautiful ash trees form up to 20% of woodland in Britain. But, sadly, the Trust explains that between 75-95% of them will be lost in the next 20-30 years due to the deadly disease.
Neil Harris, Countryside Manager for the National Trust says: "The stark reality of the impact of ash dieback on our countryside is very visible at this time of year. This deadly disease is killing many of the trees in our woodland.
"Some of our woodland had previously been ravaged by tree loss back in January 1990 when severe storms uprooted hundreds of large beech trees. Fast growing ash trees quickly filled the gaps where these giants had fallen and it’s these younger ash trees which are being affected the most."
While the trees will be felled if they pose a risk to public safety, many more in the woodland will be left to naturally decay to create homes for local wildlife.
Neil adds: "It's vital that we replace ash with a wider range of appropriate tree species to ensure continuity of habitat and provide all the other benefits of trees and woodland, including carbon sequestration and the simple pleasure many people take in visiting them. The loss of ash adds further impetus to the Trust's ambition to establish 20 million new trees on land in our care by 2030."
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