Norfolk on the alert for killer fungi

A battle to stop a deadly plant disease spreading through historic gardens, woodland and health has been stepped up through a �25m injection of government funding.

A battle to stop a deadly plant disease spreading through historic gardens, woodland and health has been stepped up through a �25m injection of government funding.

Outbreaks of the killer fungi have already been recorded at more than 700 locations around the country including 11 in Norfolk.

It affects rhododendron - which is a major carrier - and viburnum, as well as camellia, yew and bay laurel, but has also spread to trees including oak, beech and horse chestnut.

Phytophthora ramorum and kernoviae were first detected in the UK seven years ago.


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Now environment minister Jane Kennedy has announced �25m worth of funding for a five year programme to manage and contain the risks, raise awareness and do more research.

National Trust regional communications officer Claire Graves confirmed there were no outbreaks in their properties. However its gardeners, including at locations such as Sheringham Park - famed for the rhododendrons in its woodlands - were being vigilant and the trust welcomed the government help in trying to stop the spread.

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