The first outbreak of ash dieback has been confirmed in Northern Ireland.

The tree disease, caused by the Chalara fraxinea fungus, was identified in imported young saplings at five sites in Co Down and Co Antrim.

Statutory notices have been served on owners of the plantations requiring the destruction of around 5,000 affected ash saplings and associated plant debris.

Legislation was introduced on both sides of the border last month banning the import and movement of ash plants for planting from infected areas.

An outbreak was detected among imported saplings in a plantation in Co Leitrim last month.