Tonight, the National Trust has announced that the second case of ash dieback Chalara fraxinea, has been confirmed on its land in Northern Ireland, at a three and a half hectare site on the North Antrim coastline.
The first was confirmed at Borrowdale in Cumbria this morning.
Ian McCurley, regional forestry adviser said: “Unfortunately ash dieback has now been confirmed at one of our Northern Ireland sites. We are devastated by this news; it is a really sad day for our woodlands here.
“There are an estimated 3.5 hectares affected at Runkerry, right beside the Giant’s Causeway, World Heritage Site on land we acquired a few years ago. Around 2,000 young trees, planted in March this year, have today been confirmed as carrying the disease. We have acted swiftly alongside officials from Forestry Services to remove and burn the trees in the affected area.
“Our tree and woodland experts have been working closely with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to survey the region looking for signs of the disease, and sadly, it was only a matter of time before we had a case confirmed.
“The ash trees will be replaced with other species, but our main objective is to do everything possible to try to protect as many of the ash trees as we can in the woods, parks, gardens and farmland that we care for.”
“We will continue to implement best practice, as advised by our forestry colleagues at DARD.”