Chalara set to cost UK £15bn

The potential cost of dealing with the ash dieback disease has been estimated at around £15bn. The figure was reported by a researcher in Plant Scientists at Oxford University. In the report, Dr Louise Hill notes the figure is one third higher than the cost of dealing with Foot and Mouth disease in 2001.

“The consequences of tree disease for people really haven’t been fully appreciated before now.”

The £15bn figure takes in account the loss of “ecosystem services”, which is the value attributed to other functions provided by trees, such as water purification and carbon sequestration. While the clearance of diseased trees will be necessary for public safety reasons, restoring woodland habitats following the resultant potential loss of tree cover should be seen as an equally important priority.

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