We need to take a serious look at the threats our trees and woods are facing. As we approach a post-Brexit world, we need to take opportunities to make the UK’s landscape more resilient, and combat invasive pests and diseases head-on. Our shared responsibilities span from ensuring the supply of new, UK-sourced saplings to better care for our ancient trees. We are proud to be a part of Action Oak. The oak supports an astonishing amount of wildlife, but is also an iconic part of our culture and heritage. By working together we plan to make the necessary changes to safeguard our most treasured native tree, for decades to come. The JABBS Foundation, a private family charitable foundation based in Birmingham – has pledged over £565,000 towards research examining oak tree defences at the University of Birmingham for Forest Research The Action Oak Partnership includes The Woodland Trust, Woodland Heritage, National Trust, The Duchy of Cornwall, Forest Research, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, the Forestry Commission and the Northern Ireland Forest Service, and is supported by Defra, Scottish, Wales and Northern Ireland governments.The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), supported by the organisations involved in the Partnership, will have a stand at RHS Chelsea dedicated to Action Oak. At the stand visitors will be able to learn about how oak trees have shaped our history, the threats the face and how they can be protected.Action Oak has already attracted support from foundations, businesses, artists and celebrities including: Protecting our country from pests and diseases, so our trees and plants can thrive in the future, is a priority for this Government and we are proud to be backing this campaign. The Action Oak Partnership provides a one-off opportunity to shape the future of our oak trees and make sure they continue to have a place in our landscape. The combined knowledge of all the organisations involved will be vital in protecting these majestic trees, contributing to help us be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. British ceramicist Emma Bridgewater – has created a bespoke Action Oak mug which will go on sale later in the year in support of Partnership, with a portion of the proceeds going towards Action Oak research The oak is our country’s most important tree, an iconic species and the provider of numerous benefits to us and our environment. We must do all that we can to preserve the health of our oak trees for future generations. Dame Judi Dench, a well-known tree lover – a 3D scan of her favourite oak tree will be displayed on the Action Oak stand at Chelsea Geraint Richards, Duchy of Cornwall head forester, said: A major new campaign to protect the UK’s mighty oak trees from threats including pests and diseases has been officially launched at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show by Lord Gardiner, Defra’s Biosecurity Minister.The Action Oak Partnership – made up of charities, environmental organisations and landowners – is seeking to raise £15 million for research and monitoring to help safeguard the 121 million oaks in UK woodlands.Work will include capturing the first detailed picture of the current health of oaks trees, helping to gain a greater understanding of how to preserve their iconic position in our landscape for generations to come.The campaign contributes to the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan, which was launched by the Prime Minister in January, by helping to strengthen biosecurity and build resilience to protect oaks for future generations. It also builds on the £37 million the Government is already investing in tree and plant health research.Action Oak is supported by The Prince of Wales, who convened a cross-sector meeting on the issue of plant health and biosecurity at Highgrove, his residence in Gloucestershire, in February. HRH is also the Patron of Woodland Heritage, the charity that will be administering funds raised by the campaign.Defra Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner said: Beccy Speight, chief executive for the Woodland Trust, said: The Monument Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts – has donated a further £500,000 towards research into Acute Oak Decline (AOD) Lewis Scott, co-founder and trustee of Woodland Heritage said: My co-Founder, Peter Goodwin, single-handedly raised £2million towards research into Acute Oak Decline (AOD) before his untimely death last year. This money has enabled so much research to have been undertaken over the last decade, but the threats to the oak go far beyond AOD, itself not yet fully understood. It is wonderful, therefore, for Woodland Heritage to now be part of a unique initiative that is tackling the wide range of risks the oak faces head-on, helping to ensure that the mighty oak can be enjoyed by generations to come. For more information about the campaign and how to support it, visit the Action Oak website
LOS ANGELES >> It is becoming an October tradition as reliable — and distasteful to some — as the insertion of pumpkin spice into every manner of food or drink.Pushed to the brink of elimination in their National League Division Series, the Dodgers wring their hands over whether to ask their ace, Clayton Kershaw, to return on three days’ rest to rescue them — and then they do it.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was not prepared to make that announcement following the Game 3 loss to the Washington Nationals Monday, saying the coaching staff and front office were still “in talks” about what to do — the same answer he gave to questions about his Game 4 starter before the game.“You can make an argument either way,” Roberts said before the game. “That’s why it’s such a difficult decision.” “We still have to win two games,” Roberts said. “So the thought of having Julio pitch at home versus the road is something that we’re thinking through and what gives us the best chance to win two games. And obviously, yeah, you have to win (Tuesday) to win on Thursday (in Washington).”In the scenarios each of the past three falls, the Dodgers started Kershaw on three days’ rest comfortable in the knowledge that a rested Zack Greinke was available to pitch Game 5 (and he did last year against the New York Mets).This year, the rainout Saturday took away the option of starting a veteran pitcher on normal rest in Game 5.When his Game 2 start was pushed back a day by rain in Washington, Hill said he would be willing to start a game on short rest and dismissed any concerns about his blister issues as “irrelevant.” Roberts and the Dodgers’ staff clearly do not share that position.“I talked to Rich today, with no certainty. I know that he’s open to the idea of going on short rest but it’s something he hasn’t done,” Roberts said Monday. “With him, there’s going to be more conversations with the training staff to figure out that finger. And it’s not an arm thing with Rich. It’s more of how we are going to manage that blister.”Hill did spend a good portion of his career pitching out of the bullpen, so some kind of hybrid start with him and Urias somehow combining is also a possibility for Game 5.But first — they have to get there.“Whatever they decide to do, we’ve got to win ballgames,” Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said. “No matter who’s starting, it’s not going to be up to one guy to do it.”Nationals manager Dusty Baker was not willing to announce his Game 4 starter Monday either, a move that smacked more of gamesmanship than actual debate. Joe Ross is the likely starter with Reynaldo Lopez also under consideration, according to Baker.Going into the series, Baker wouldn’t name any starter beyond Max Scherzer in Game 1, saying there was on-going discussion about what order to start Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez. When he did announce Roark as his Game 2 starter, Baker said it had been decided all along.“We were just kind of messing with you guys, to tell you the truth,” he said. The case to start Kershaw is obvious — the Dodgers face elimination with a loss. Do they dare send a 20-year-old rookie out to start an elimination game while their ace sits and watches, perhaps not pitching again until next spring, despite being willing to pitch on short rest and having a track record of performing well under those circumstances?Kershaw has started on short rest in the NLDS round each of the past three falls (including 2013 when the Dodgers were up 2-1 against the Atlanta Braves). They have won two of those three games. Kershaw has gone at least six innings each time, allowing six runs (four earned) in 19 innings with 0.74 WHIP and 23 strikeouts.When reporters clustered around his locker following the game Monday, an amiable Kershaw — much more amiable than you would expect if he had been told he wasn’t starting Tuesday — joked with reporters but declined to tip his hand.“Obviously you’d like to see your big guy,” Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager said. “But they know more than I do.”There is also a case to be made to start that 20-year-old rookie, Julio Urias. Using Kershaw to win Game 4 would leave them with a choice of starting Urias in another elimination game, Game 5, this time on the road or ask Rich Hill to start on three days’ rest. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
India have not lost an international series at home for over two years. South Africa were the last team to taste any kind of success in India when they won the ODI series 3-2 in October 2015.Since then, India have won Test series against South Africa, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia. They have also won limited-overs series against New Zealand, England, Australia at home.In fact, India have not lost any bilateral series since they went down to Australia in an ODI series in January 2016. The team has been in sensational form across formats and even reached the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.However, New Zealand always seem to challenge India. A year ago, they were worthy opponents in the ODIs, stretching the series to a decider. Similarly, in 2017, the Black Caps stunned India with a heroic batting effort to win the first game.In the T20 series, India began with a comprehensive victory in Ashish Nehra’s farewell match in Delhi before the visitors rode on Colin Munro’s hundred in Rajkot to draw level.It has all come down to the final match of the series Thiruvananthapuram. The Greenfield International Stadium at Kariavatto is set to be India’s 50th international venue and it could be the setting to a thriller between two evenly matched teams.But there is a chance rain could play spoilsport.Incidentally, India’s last T20I series against Australia also ended in a 1-1 draw after the series decider was washed out in Hyderabad.