Over 120 North West based tree and woodland professionals attended an ash dieback information meeting this week, organised by The Mersey Forest on behalf of the Regional Forestry Forum.
Representatives from councils from all over the North West, including the seven Mersey Forest local authorities, and other organisations, joined a panel of experts from the Woodland Trust, the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) and the Forestry Commission to discuss the ash dieback issue.
The meeting covered issues such as the causes of ash dieback, how organisations are responding across the UK, and a question and answer session.
Ash dieback hit headlines last month when it emerged that ash trees at over 250 sites in the UK are infected with ash dieback disease. The government issued a short-term action plan, which will be followed up with an in depth report which is due to be released this Thursday.
Iain Taylor, the Chair of the Northwest Regional Forestry Forum, said: "Ash dieback is an important issue and it was great to bring experts from all over the North West together today at Myerscough.
"We know from the overwhelming level of interest in this event that people are concerned for their trees and woodlands and want to know how they manage the ash in their area. We are now looking towards the release of the next government action plan, which is due to be issued on Thursday."
Clare Olver from The Mersey Forest, who was responsible for organising the meeting, said: "The meeting was very well-attended - it was great to see so many people concerned about the North West's ash trees.
"We'd also like to say a big thank you to Myerscough College for hosting the meeting."
Presentations from the event and papers referred to during the discussions are now available on the Regional Forestry Forum website (see foot of documents list).
The government has also now published its chalara action plan as well as a webpage providing advice for landowners.