Tree diseases threat the look, ecology and economy of the countryside but complexity of the issues poses challenges for policy. One option is to develop and disease tolerant native species and this could be done relatively quickly and cheaply using genetic techniques. I am leading a component of a research council funded project to ascertain the public acceptability of different tree-breeding solutions. The issue is fascinating and its an opportunity to brush up on my large-scale survey skills. More than this though it is an opportunity to explore ‘talk it through’ approach to applied policy science – where scientists present the range of possible tree planting solutions and ask citizens what they think.
Public acceptability of tree breeding solutions to Ash dieback