Tree pests and diseases taken seriously by Government at last, says CLA

24 October 2013

The Government is taking the problem of tree pests and diseases seriously at last with the publication of the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Action Plan, the CLA said today (18 October).

The Association, alongside other partners, used prolonged and persistent lobbying activity to make the Government understand the importance of tackling poor tree health.

CLA President William Worsley said: "I am pleased so many of the CLA's suggestions have made it into the action plan. Improving the channels for reporting and monitoring new pests and diseases will help tree owners detect poor tree health early on so it is managed effectively. The intention to tighten import controls on plant material, and working more closely with European partners is also welcome news."

Mr Worsley added: "Forest Research has done an admirable job in reacting to the sudden increase in pests and diseases threatening our trees, but it is woefully underfunded. I hope the bulk of the £7million announced to support research into combating exotic diseases and pests will be given to Forest Research. It is an organisation that is highly respected by the forestry sector and best placed to respond to the challenges ahead concerning tree health."