Biosecurity and the Future of our Forests

The Wildlife Trusts logo(1)On Tuesday 8th March, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will be hosting a talk by Dr. Sarah Taylor entitled “Biosecurity and the Future of our Forests”.

Once the preserve of industry specialists, biosecurity is now a topic most people are aware of. In the public’s mind, it probably all started with the loss of our glorious Elms to Dutch Elm Disease during the 1960’s and 70’s. But more recently there’s been outbreaks of Phytophthora species killing trees and shrubs all over the UK.

The recent press coverage concerning Ash Dieback Disease (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus – previously known as Chalara fraxinea) has even lead to ‘spotters guides’ and the public being encouraged to report sightings.


Ash Dieback Disease is a Biosecurity issue

Ash Dieback Disease

Phytophtora ramorum outbreak

Phytophtora ramorum outbreak

Only last year, the Welsh government confirmed that more than 6 million Larch trees will have to be felled to try to prevent the spread of Phytophthera ramorum. Then there’s diseases such as Acute Oak Decline, Chestnut Blight and Bleeding Canker in Horse Chestnuts. We’ve not even started with the pests being imported on plant material that are affecting our woodlands, forests and gardens!

Whilst all this may seem to be within the domain of Arboriculturalists and Horticulturalists, anyone who buys a tree, shrub or perennial for their garden should be aware of where they are being imported from – and what they could possibly be bringing with them. Maybe more than ever, this is a time to ‘Buy British’ in the hope that not only will we reduce the incidence of pests and disease but also that we will be helping British nurseries and growers remain in business?

Tree Heritage have agreed to sponsor the event and we will be in attendance as we are all interested in the latest news and hopefully some of it will be positive!

If you’d like to come along the talk starts at 7.30pm, lasts until around 10.00pm and will be taking place at St. Pauls Church Centre, Novi Lane, Leek. ST13 6NR.

For more information, click on the following link: Staffs Wildlife Trust Talk

Whatever we learn regarding pests and diseases affecting our trees, we’ll follow this up with another blog, so keep checking back for more information!