Change in focus for ash tree appeal

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A £1,000 fundraising appeal to replace mature ash trees along the banks of the Ripon canal has changed focus following the spread of the deadly fungus.

The Canal and River Trust, which manages 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, launched an appeal in July to raise funds for the planting of new, young healthy ash trees along a section of the Ripon canal between Renton Bridge and Oxclose Lock.

The current crop of trees is currently either dying back because of disease or through old age.

Jonathan Hart-Woods, environment manager for the Canal and River Trust said: “The Chalara disease, which has killed many ash trees nationally, means we have had to change our planting plans for the Ripon Canal.

“The Ripon canal is one of our most picturesque canals anywhere on the network so for us safeguarding this valuable landscape character is really important and we know local people feel the same.”

Mr Hart-Woods said the trust has now been in contact with Littlethorpe Parish Council – as the canal runs through the village – to find out what tree species they would like to see planted.

Money donated will be spent on items including mulch mats, tree shelters, tree stakes and compost.

l To donate text ASH to 70007 or visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk