Countryside Science

Understanding Ash Dieback: A Call to UK Gardeners

Unwrapping Nature’s Gift: A Christmas Journey into Ash Dieback Awareness

For UK gardeners, particularly those who appreciate the seasonal charm of their gardens, this festive season brings an opportunity to give and receive a unique gift that transcends the traditional ornaments and wreaths—a journey into understanding and combating ash dieback through the “Ash Dieback in the UK” course by Countryside Science.

Understanding Ash Dieback: A Call to UK Gardeners

Ash dieback is, admittedly, not the cheeriest of Christmas subjects. The course though is not just about a tree disease; it’s about preserving the green legacy we hold dear. Ash dieback, caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, poses a real and imminent threat to our iconic ash trees. It’s not merely a concern for conservationists; it’s a call for every gardener, landowner, and concerned citizen to become a steward of their local environment.

Course Justification: The Urgency of Preservation

Ash dieback is not a distant woe—it’s here, impacting gardens, highways, utility infrastructure, and protected ecological sites. The course is not just about learning; it’s about becoming informed advocates for the nature we love. The destructive disease has claimed millions of ash trees, and without intervention, up to 90% of the native ash tree population will be lost.

Course Goals: Knowledge as a Gift to Nature

As the holiday season approaches, consider the course as a gift that goes beyond the tangible. It’s an investment in knowledge, an opportunity to make informed decisions, and a chance to actively contribute to nature preservation.

1. Develop Expert Knowledge:

Immerse yourself in the intricacies of ash dieback. Understand its origins, progression, and impact on common ash trees—the very symbols of our natural beauty.

2. Understand Impacts:

Delve into the biological, ecological, and economic consequences of ash dieback. Uncover the delicate balance between common ash trees and their surroundings.

3. Empower Decision-Making:

Gain the ability to make informed decisions about land management. Navigate the complexities of ash dieback with the latest scientific advice and contribute to local environmental preservation.

4. Contribute to Combatting the Invasion:

Learn how your efforts can make a difference nationally and internationally. Participate actively in the fight against this invasive species threatening the UK’s ecosystems.

Learning Outcomes and Objectives: Connecting Knowledge to Action

For UK gardeners, the course is a pathway to becoming environmental advocates. From identifying common ash trees to understanding the wider impacts of ash dieback, each learning outcome is a stepping stone towards creating positive change.

Course Format: A Flexible Learning Experience

Accessible from the warmth of your home, the course is delivered digitally through an online portal. High-definition videos hosted on Vimeo ensure a visually engaging learning experience. Whether you’re in your garden, at home, or on the go with a smartphone or tablet, the course adapts to your schedule.


Content is categorized into three levels—Essential Knowledge, Advanced Knowledge, and Expert Knowledge. From the introductory chapter summarizing the course to in-depth explorations of ash dieback’s status, lifecycle, and wider impacts, participants gradually progress from essential to expert knowledge.

Workload and Target Audience: A Holistic Approach for Gardeners

With 15 videos totalling over 90 minutes, the course ensures a thorough exploration of ash dieback. Additional supporting documents enhance your learning experience, providing a well-rounded understanding. For those engaging in the course as part of their continuing professional development, a suggested 8 hours of CPD allowance can be claimed.

Course Development: A Gratitude for Collaboration

Developed throughout 2021 and 2022, the course was released on March 1, 2023. Collaboration with entities such as Defra, Forest Research, Tree Council, and Future Trees Trust has ensured the course’s accuracy and relevance.

About Countryside Science: Bridging Tradition with Science

Established in 2021 by Simon Ernstsons, Countryside Science merges traditional land management practices with modern scientific understanding. With two decades of experience as a tree health practitioner, arborist, and academic, Simon brings a unique blend of scientific rigor and accessibility to the field.

Embracing the Christmas Spirit: A Thoughtful Gift for Nature-Loving Gardeners

This Christmas, consider the course not just as an educational investment but as a way to actively contribute to the well-being of local nature. For gardeners who hold nature close to their hearts, this course  can serve as a meaningful present for a friend or loved one who wants a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Imagine unwrapping not just a course but a commitment to the environment—one that aligns with conservative values of responsibility, preservation, and community. Enrol today and embark on a journey to become an informed guardian of the environment. This Christmas, let your gift be a pledge to safeguard our green heritage for generations to come. Join Countryside Science and be a part of the solution.

To register for the course:

1.           Visit to view the course trailer, select BUY

2.           On the left hand side select either Buy (for yourself), or Gift This (as a present)

3.           Add the details such as email address and gift message

4.           Enjoy the course and Make Merry!

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