Last week we delivered the first ever Ash Conference in Cumbria, sharing knowledge and expertise to over 100 delegates from throughout the UK.

The venue, appropriately, was the National School of Forestry in Ambleside. A venue of national significance playing host to a day focused on an issue of critical importance to the future of our trees and woodlands.

With prestigious UK and international speakers, topics included the history of the disease, potential resistance, forest management, landscape conservation and veteran trees.

In addition, a workshop session allowed delegates to share ideas and consider how they might manage and respond to the issues presented by ash dieback over the coming years.

Finally, a panel discussion gave the opportunity to ask further questions and spark interesting debate amongst all in attendance.

Testimonials from HDDN on Vimeo.

Delegates left with a positive attitude, armed with the information needed to respond to the loss of ash cover, according to their own tree and woodland objectives: how to identify the infection, maintain ecological diversity, understand the impacts on commercial woodlands, what to chop down and when, and what to plant in its stead.

A meeting of minds, a collection of some of the best research all under one roof, the Ash Conference was a huge success and creates a blueprint for information sharing throughout the industry.

The great news for those who weren't there is that all these presentations have been recorded and filmed, and will be shared in due course.

But what did the delegates think?

'It was the quality of the speakers that drew me here', Stuart Palmer, Trees and Woodland Adviser, North Region National Trust

'The breakout session was particularly lively and enjoyable', Rebecca Oakes, independent woodland consultant

'Dieback is an incredibly important consideration for woodland management', Louise Hackett, Woodland Restoration Project Manager, Woodland Trust

'This format is brilliant, it’s really informative but relaxed and also great from a networking point of view especially in Cumbria where we all live and work', Vicky Bowman, Woodland Officer (North), United Utilities

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