MOST of Oxfordshire’s ancient trees are at risk from pests and diseases, it has been claimed.

The Woodland Trust said there are at least 15 pests and diseases – including ash dieback – which pose a threat to 1,200 trees in the county listed on its ancient tree register.

Some of them are more than 1,000 years old.

With trees now in leaf, the trust has called on members of the public to stay alert for signs of diseases.

Head of conservation Austin Brady said: “Losing some trees to diseases and pests is all part of life and death in the forest, but to lose our precious ancient trees would be absolutely terrible.

“These huge stalwarts have taken centuries to grow and their loss would be devastating.”

He added: “We need the public to help by getting into the great outdoors, looking at trees and checking them for signs of disease, so we have as accurate a picture of the situation as possible.”

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