Ash dieback disease spreads to trees in Kent and Essex

Last updated at 07:47
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Joe reports on 'ash dieback' disease

The deadly tree fungus threatening the UK's ash trees has been found for the first time in parts of Kent and Essex.

82 sites across the country are now known to be affected by 'ash dieback' disease.

Last week, the government said 100,000 ash trees had been destroyed to try and stop the fungus spreading further.

'Ash dieback' has already wiped out 90 per cent of ash trees in Denmark.

The Forestry Commission, who look after Britain's forests and woodlands, have sent more than 500 members of staff to search for evidence of the disease across England, Scotland and Wales.

And today, a new portable DNA technology will begin to try and help identify how far it has spread.

Ministers have also banned live trees from being brought into the UK to try and stop the spread of the killer fungus.

The disease was spotted for the first time in the UK in February, and has since spread to the wider countryside.

Ash trees make up almost a third of woodland in the UK and it's feared if it continues to spread, it could wipe out millions of trees across the country.

Experts hope that by destroying trees in affected areas and banning any imports from Europe, they'll be able to stop it from spreading any further.