After a series of initial press releases, information for landowners on how to deal with Ash dieback has been difficult to find and lacking in any clear advice on how to manage the problem. The initial hope was that because of climatic and genetic reasons Ash in the UK would prove more resistant than across the rest of Europe.
It is now clear that this is not the case and that based on research in Denmark and Poland we can expect the rapid decline and death of at least 90% of our forest Ash and 60-80% of the same species on our roadsides. The impact of this is that ten times more trees will be lost than as a result of Dutch Elm Disease; the disease is evident from north central Scotland to the south coast of England.
Four months ago, we were staring helplessly past drifting snow and later watching the relentless falling rain. All this, restricting access to the forest. The market was poised to take off, but the weather was inhibiting much of the planned activity.
However, the show must go on. The curtain finally lifted. From that moment, the level of business, has barely given anyone in the forestry sector a moment to draw breathe. So centre stage the action was frenetic, driven by the high demand and high prices. Working hard to catch up, it was almost as if two scenes had been rolled into one.