Worries as ash disease found near Bearsden

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A DEADLY disease which threatens to wipe out ash trees has crept closer to Milngvaie and Bearsden.

Scientists have discovered a case of Chalara ash dieback in newly planted trees in Duntocher, on the outskirts of Bearsden.

It is one of 23 sites in Scotland that have so far been identified as containing the fungal infection which could destroy the UK’s 80 million ash trees.

Experts fear it could have a similar impact to Dutch Elm Disease, which wiped out mature elms in the 1970s.

There are fears it could spread to important local woodlands, such as Mugdock, which is now on high alert.

Thomas Glen, East Dunbartonshire Council’s Head of Development and Infrastructure, said, “We have no reported cases within the park but are keeping a watching brief on the advice coming out from the Scottish Government.

“We will heed any advice and pass that to visitors to do whatever is necessary to help to prevent the spread of this disease.

“In the meantime we would encourage people to come to the park and enjoy the beautiful autumn colours in great surroundings.”

Scottish Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, who confirmed the Duntocher case, said work was being done to combat the fungal disease.

He said: “We have been working very closely with the UK government and other devolved administrations on this problem.

“Although our native ash is not a major component of woods and forests in Scotland, it is an important feature of our landscape, has considerable biodiversity value and is also one of the most productive broadleaf species in terms of timber and firewood.”