Wednesday, 19 January 2011

1970s revisited?

Some of us are old enough to remember the 1970s and although Led Zeppelin, platform soles, and flared trousers may feature more vividly in those memories, there is also Dutch Elm Disease and the sad loss of these once ubiquitous trees. At the time it seemed as though the authorities could not quite believe the potential consequences of the infection but, as it became an epidemic, more and more elegant, and often ancient, giants sickened and died. Many people felt it as a very personal loss as they had to come to terms with the scars on much-loved landscapes. The idea that we could be revisited by tree diseases on a similar scale is alarming. But in the present era of austerity are we prepared to expend the necessary resources to protect our landscapes and heritage gardens from new threats? It is certainly a question that merits debate, as Relu's Policy and Practice Note No 25 shows all too clearly.

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