As Chalara Dieback Threatens the UKs Ash Forests - Benches.co.uk Explain the Next Steps and What You Can Do to Help

Newton. Bears. Hippies. All fans of trees, as are Benches.co.uk which is why the latest announcements about the Chalara fungus affecting British trees, make their commitment to using FSC certified sources even more important.

(PRWEB UK) 31 October 2012

As the import ban on ash trees and the tree disease expert taskforce was put into action on Monday, we've all been hearing about the potential threat that the Chalara fraxinea fungus could have on the UKs Ash population.

First reports from experts suggest that if the disease were to become established, then ash dieback could have a similar impact on Britain's landscape as the prolific Dutch elm disease had back in the 70s. This outbreak resulted in the death of the majority of the countries mature English elm trees within ten years, and are still yet to recover.

Chalara dieback - also known as ash dieback has already decimated 90% of the ash tree population in Denmark.

Labour have struck out at the government, accusing them of being "asleep on the job" - failing to act quickly enough to stamp out the spread of infection. Whilst imports were only sanctioned on Monday, the import trade for Ash is practically dead during Summer, so even though first sightings of the disease in the UK were all the way back in February 2012 the influx of potentially diseased trees would have already past.

Actions were taken, over 100,000 ash trees were already destroyed to attempt to stop the disease from spreading further, assessments were carried out at over 1,000 sites where ash plants from Europe had been planted within the last five years, and a voluntary moratorium on imports was imposed prior to the government ban.

The shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh suggested the goverment was guilty of "dithering" over the summer and blamed budget cuts for the lack of proactive research.

The Forestry Commission's budget had apparently been slashed by 25% and funding for research had also suffered a 30% cut.

The environment minister David Heath told MPs however that there had been no cut backs to resources applied to plant and tree health in the UK.

As a huge supporter of the FSC and as one of the largest retailers of garden benches in the UK, Benches.co.uk know they must be responsible about where they source their materials from. The latest news about the Chalara fungus spread means that it is even more important to be sure of the provenance of timber when buying hardwood products.

With such organisations as Greenpeace and WWF referring to FSC certification as the "Gold" standard in this area, the globally recognised Forest Stewardship Council is the number one authority on promoting the responsible management of forests worldwide.

FSC certification ensures that the wood Benches use comes from forests where the forestry company meets high environmental standards, treats their workers fairly and invests in making sure the forest is there long term.

Every year a huge area equal to half the size of the UK is cleared of natural forests, on all continents spanning the globe. These woodland areas are irreplaceable and the perceived impact of their loss has many social, economic and environmental knock on effects which devastate entire populations. Forests support 1.6 billion of the poorest people in the world, including 60 million indigenous tribes. The effects are limited to people, as of course specifies of plants and animals rely entirely on the forests for their survival.

Even without disease threatening our forests, deforestation continues and is a major contributor to rising CO2 emissions, as forests battle to regulate climate change. The effects of this deforestation can be seen around in the world, with weather extremes and unseasonal temperatures becoming a regular problem. This places the forestry commission into a tough spot, where they must allocate appropriate resources to proactively manage both threats from the worlds thirst for timber, and against natural threats such as the Chalara fungus outbreak.

In Benches FSC Range only timber sourced from FSC certified forests is used. This should give confidence to customers that experts have tested the wood for other diseases and that of course it is only responsibly sourced wood used in their Bench, which had a neutral or positive effect on the world's forests.

The fantastic range of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified benches are made using top quality Pine and Mahogany so you can be sure these products have no restrictions on them after the temporary ban was put into place. Build quality is second to none, so customers can be assured that their Bench will last a lifetime.

Traditional and stylish, the wooden benches offered on the companies website make popular gifts and great additions to any garden.

The next steps being taken by the Government:

Prevention - border checks are already in place to ensure more occurances of the disease are not imported into the UK via the plant/tree trade.

Eradication - when an outbreak is confirmed in the wild, steps are taken to kill it by felling infected trees and removing the timber from the area and containing it within a secure area. This is currently where we are at with the disease in East Anglia where massive ash tree felling is underway.

If the outbreak were to spread uncontrollably with multiple hotspots in different regions, it's likely we will see a widescale attempt to remove the pathogen from the UK by felling trees and isolating the ash population.

A mobile app has been created - called Ashtag which enables the user to upload pictures and report possible infections, which are fed directly to the Forestry Commission to act upon.

Please read the attached PDF, produced by the FSC, which identifies possible signs of infection, and report any suspected cases using the Ashtag app. Benches are sure that with better awareness the UKs Ash population stands a fighting chance.

A bespoke laser engraving service is also available with almost all Benches & accessories, including our FSC range. This allows great personalisation for businesses and individuals alike, offering text or images to be inscribed forever using skilled professionals who look after the service from start to end.

Opting to include laser engraving on your bench is easily selected on the companies website. Fonts can be altered and images can be uploaded for use (such as a family coat of arms or business logo).

Benches.co.uk will also be running a competition in the following weeks to win a Kingdom Teak Bench Cover (varying sizes) - tied in with Facebook. If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning one of these Bench covers, ensuring your bench will be protected this winter, worth £19.99 - £29.99 then click here and follow the instructions!

For further information on Benches commitment to the FSC certification contact us via the following methods:

Web: http://www.benches.co.uk

Tel: 01564 79 3689

Post: Benches, Yew Tree Farm Craft Centre, Wootton Wawen, Solihull, West Midlands, B95 6BY.


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