Whilst on my way here from the station last night, I saw something that brought a furrowed brow to my face and a dark cloud to my heart. In the gloom I could just about make out some trees in a nearby field that looked distinctly off-colour – this brought to mind an urgent environmental health-warning released by the Environment Agency last month.

The report detailed the spread of a deadly virus, known as the Dulux Oak Disease, that attacks species of tree that are native to the UK; English Oaks have been found to be particularly suceptable.

It is a fungal virus that is spread by birds flying from tree to tree: once it makes contact with the bark of a healthy specimen, it spreads rapidly over the entire surface: trunk, branches and all.

There are several strains of the disease, which can be distinguished by the colour of the fungi – red, white or blue. The latter has so far proven to be the most deadly, bringing death to even the strongest of trees within a matter of days.

These 4 victims are located not 5 minutes down the road from the WGP. The Environment Agency has sealed off the field concerned, and fitted the trees with elaborate alarms to scare birds off, which have been constructed from modified doorbells.

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