A year ago the Forestry Commission condemned almost two hundred Sweet Chestnut trees in ancient woodland in East Allington, from evidence gained by aeriel hotography alone. They have not provided details of how many trees were tested for Phytophthora in the field ,by the ‘Lateral Flow Device’ testing regime, which is highly non-specific and identifies all phytophtora species, including the majority which are non-thogenic to chestnut trees. They also provided no details of laboratory DNA profiling, which specifically targets Phytophthora ramorum, leaving us with many unanswered questions. We would be interested to hear of other sweet chestnut trees in the South Hams which have uffered the same fate.

Andrew Northrop 

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