Steps we should all take to avoid spreading ash killer

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Anyone visiting woodland is being advised to take steps to ensure they do not spread ash die back disease.

The Forestry Commission has issued biosecurity advice for visitors to woods affected by the fungal disease chalara fraxinea, but urges the steps be taken when visiting any woodland.

The disease was first found in the wild in woods in Norfolk and Suffolk but has now been identified in 10 counties. It particularly affects young trees, making the leaves wilt and die quickly then creating distinctive browning of twigs and branches it kills.

The commission says you must not remove any plant material, including firewood, from infected woods. Where possible, clean mud and leaves from boots, wheels, dogs and horses before leaving the wood.

Before visiting other countryside sites, parks, garden centres and nurseries, thoroughly wash footwear, wheels and tyres in soapy water.

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