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Eagle-eyed Tricia wins an iPad

Friday, 23 November 2012

Tricia Sayle of Ballaugh was the lucky winner of an Ipad 3 in the Forestry Directorate's recent 'Openelm' competition.

DEFA ipad winnerShe was presented with her prize by the political Member with responsibility for Forestry, Brenda Cannell MHK.

The competition was launched to encourage the use of crowdsourcing technology by the public to report trees potentially infected with Dutch elm disease. This has been a valuable contribution towards the Department's efforts to control the spread of the disease. Reports of sick-looking elm trees were made either direct to the Department or via the website.

Through the initiative 194 individual trees and 2 areas of woodland which were showing symptoms of disease were reported.

Chairman of the Forestry, Amenity and Lands Directorate, Mrs Brenda Cannell MHK, said:

'The competition has certainly helped us in identifying potentially diseased trees.  Where the disease has been confirmed, our staff and contractors have acted swiftly to remove the trees and reduce the risk of spread.

'We have been very lucky with our efforts to control the disease on the Island to date and still have around 99% of the Island's estimated quarter of a million elm tree population.

'It is a very worrying time with the continued threat from Dutch elm disease and also Phytophthora ramorum, sometimes known as Sudden Oak Death, which has been identified on the Island. We now, of course, have new threats from Chalara Ash Dieback in the UK. We are being very vigilant and will be co-ordinating a campaign to raise awareness in the Spring, when the public can be very helpful in reporting problems to us when the trees are in leaf and signs of disease are more visible.'

Tricia was very pleased with her win:

'It was a lovely surprise as I never usually win anything.  No-one can call me a technophobe now'.

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