Forty per cent of more than four hundred ash trees inspected by Island Roads have got a fungal infection - and at least sixty will have to be cut down, the contractor says.

Ash dieback grows inside the tree, eventually blocking its water transport systems. 

Island Roads says of 418 trees inspected, 169 have the deadly condition.

According to The Woodland Trust, the disease could kill around 80% of ash trees across the UK, although it can take years before trees are visibly affected. 

However, the government's advice is that ash trees should not necessarily cut down, but should be monitored to ensure they do not become a danger. 

Island Roads says it will have to fell around 60 trees in the coming months.

It says "safety, contractual requirements, and impact of felling work on the travelling public" will all be considered.

Mark Roberts, Island Roads asset manager, said: “No one likes to see trees cut down but safety has to be the primary consideration and it will unfortunately be necessary to remove trees that pose a risk to highway users. 

"There will be other landowners who will need to take similar action because unfortunately trees do not recover from ash dieback.” 

Private landowner? Find more details HERE.

In May, it was reported that ash dieback will cost Britain £15 billion - including in management and in the loss of benefits that woods and trees provide (clean air and water and storing carbon dioxide).

Read more: Ash dieback to cost £15bn to Britain, study warns