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Forest pests have to be managed and controlled

As an island cut off by some distance from our nearest neighbour and with prevailing south-westerly winds blowing in clean air from the Atlantic, we have long enjoyed the highest plant health status in Europe.

Admittedly, the perception of that status has taken a bit of a battering in recent years, first with the outbreak of Phytophthora ramorum, which resulted in a rethink of the policy of planting Japanese larch, followed by the first discovery just a year ago of the ash dieback disease Chalara fraxinea. Nevertheless, we can still count our blessings.

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