AS the ash disease outbreak blighting trees around the country creeps ever closer to Worcestershire there are fears for the future of local woodlands.

Although the fungal disease has not yet officially reached the county, it is known to have reached nearby Warwickshire and south Shropshire.

There are more than 90 million ash trees in the UK, an estimated two million of them in Worcestershire.

Harry Green, a long-serving trustee with Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said that It is inevitable that the outbreak will find its way here but what is much harder to predict is just how much damage it will cause.

Environment secretary Owen Paterson met scientists and foresters last week to discuss how to fight the outbreak.

He said the government's plan would be to focus on slowing its spread through the countryside.

Diseased young trees would be removed and destroyed, he added.