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Last Updated: Monday, 20 November 2006, 11:03 GMT
Work begins on diseased elm trees
Work has begun to remove thousands of trees in Dorset as part of a project to help combat Dutch Elm disease.

The first of about 2,500 trees on the Purbeck estate - 75% of which are young elms - have been felled because they had become infected or were dying.

The disease is spread by elm bark beetles causing a fungus to develop, which blocks a tree's "arteries".

The National Trust said the work, which started in the morning, was due to continue throughout the winter months.

Restricted access

David Hood, countryside manager for Purbeck, said: "We are getting to grips with having to fell a new generation of dead elm trees before they fall across roads, paths and into gardens and campsites.

"The work will be undertaken with full regard for conservation needs and so great pains will be taken to check for the presence of bats and other wildlife."

Most of the trees affected are about 20 years old.

Public access will be restricted in some areas of the estate where hazardous trees have been found to be supporting wildlife.

Elm disease work 'under threat'
13 Nov 06 |  Southern Counties

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