Looks scary, huh? Specially when you see where it is:
And in some ways it is.
But this sinister-looking move isn’t anything to do with anything human – either the new museum extension or the Olympics. This is Mother Nature being cruel. It’s Bleeding Canker, a very nasty disease carried by a miner-moth that will kill the tree and is contagious, much like Dutch Elm disease. Here, Stephen’s captured it in a fairly early stage:
but there are some fairly scary pics on the BBC website that show just how bad it can get, so clearly Royal Parks are taking some remedial action now to prevent it spreading any further. I didn’t realise there were any Horse Chestnuts down this part of the park, but since the disease only tends to attack that species I suppose this must be one.
For anyone worried that it might affect the ancient Spanish Chestnuts don’t worry – it’s a totally different tree and so far (at least) the conker canker hasn’t jumped species.
In other news, I’m told that the area around the giant steps has been roped off to try to bring it back to some sort of green-ness after it played host to so many splendid toboggan-moments last snow. I can’t help feeling that the claim that they’re using a ‘special acid grass mix’ could have been a bit better worded – I’m assuming they mean a seed mix that grows particularly well in an acid grassland soil.
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