10-06-2011 12:51 PM | Bees and Beekeeping, Forestry, News

Strategy launched to tackle pest and disease threats to Britain’s trees



A new strategy for protecting Britain’s trees and forests from pests and diseases was launched today.

This is an interim strategy, pending an integrated cross-government approach to biosecurity following the current EU review of its plant health regime. It is a response to the increasing threat to trees and woods from pests and diseases arising from the rapid expansion of global trade and the changing climate. It was prepared by the Forestry Commission under the direction of the GB Biosecurity Programme Board, representing the forest industries and the wider forestry and plant health community.

Welcoming publication of the strategy, Jim Paice, Forestry Minister in the UK Government, said,

"We need to manage and control the unprecedented threats from pests and diseases which Britain’s trees, woods and forests face. That’s why we’ve commissioned an action plan on tree health and plant biosecurity. The action plan is one part of a whole range of measures we’re using to combat the threat of disease to our woodland and forests"

Tim Rollinson, Forestry Commission Director-General, added,

"The Tree Health Strategy provides leadership in these uncertain times, by identifying the threats, by setting out a clear strategy for addressing them, and by supporting active engagement from woodland and tree owners and managers to mitigate them.

"The strategy identifies three key lines of defence. First, through our border controls, we work to prevent pests from entering Britain. Second, in the event of a new outbreak, we move as quickly as we can to eradicate the threat, or if this is not possible, to contain it. Finally, we might have to learn to live with some new pests and diseases, and adapt our tree and forest management regimes to reduce the threats they pose."

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