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News article created on 6 December 2012

Ash tree diease changes focus for Ripon Canal appeal

Our appeal to replace mature ash trees along the banks of the Ripon Canal has changed focus following the spread of the deadly fungus, which has been threatening ash trees across the country.

This summer we 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, increasing the importance of protecting a feature of the landscape which has been there for more than 150 years.

Valuable landscape

Jonathan Hart-Woods, environment manager for the Canal & River Trust says: “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.

“This length of canal runs through Littlethorpe, and we have been talking to the local community and Littlethorpe Parish Council in particular about the tree species they would now like to see planted. Local people have already been kind enough to help us raise over £350 for this appeal.

"With continued public support we’ll be able to plant new hedgerow trees including field maple and some occasional oaks along the canal. These will not only help safeguard the canal landscape but also ensure a continuity of habitats for the flora and fauna that have always colonised the Ripon Canal.”

Rich local ecology

Mo Fay, Littlethorpe Parish Councillor commented: “We are encouraged that the Canal & River Trust is seeking the views of local people in their plans for the upkeep of the beautiful length of canal that runs through our Parish. Villagers strongly wish to preserve both the landscape of the canal and the rich local ecology and look forward to regular communications in the future.”

To donate directly to this appeal text ASH to 70007*. Alternitavely you can donate online. Every penny donated will be spent directly on conserving, restoring, and enhancing your local canal or river. For those interested in volunteering for the Canal & River Trust or would like to join and help plant the new trees contact volunteer@canalrivertrust.org.uk or call 0303 040 4040.

* To donate £3 to the Canal & River Trust text TRUST to 70007. For texts asking you for £3 you will be charged £3 plus one message at your standard network rate. The Canal & River Trust will receive at least £2.97 from all major network providers for your £3.