CLA welcomes action on sweet chestnut import ban

24 October 2013

The CLA today (21 May 2013) welcomed Defra's decision to ban the import of sweet chestnut trees from areas affected by Sweet Chestnut Blight.

The Association also backed the launch of a six-week consultation on the total ban on imports of sweet chestnut trees before the next planting season.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The CLA flagged up the danger posed by Sweet Chestnut Blight and called for Defra to ban imports of this tree.

"We welcome Environment Secretary Owen Paterson's decision to act on tackling this devastating disease. The CLA will continue to work closely with Defra to ensure Mr Paterson delivers his commitment to devote more resources to tackling tree pests and diseases."

The Defra announcement coincided with the publication of the independent taskforce report on tree health, which was launched after the discovery of Chalara fraxinea.

Mr Cotterell added: "As at least one new major tree pest or disease affects the UK every year, it is important we take time to study the detail in the Task Force's report and work with Defra to control future outbreaks of tree disease."