Tree Health Resilience Strategy

Proposals to consult industry on new quarantine arrangements for high-risk plants are among the measures set out in a new Government’s plan to protect the UK’s trees.
Confor has welcomed The Tree Health Resilience Strategy,the first major publication to come out of the 25-Year Environment Plan, which sets out a new pro-active approach to tree health.
The new industry-wide Plant Health Alliance seeks to strengthen biosecurity practices, and brings together nurseries, retailers, tree suppliers, landscapers, foresters, the Royal Horticultural Society and Defra to ensure more effective and targeted action in response to threats such as Xylella and Emerald Ash Borer.
Caroline Harrison, Confor’s England Manager, said: “This strategy chimes with our publication in January of Plant Health and Brexit, which called for imports of high-risk plants and firewood to end within five years to safeguard the health of UK forests. Confor has been part of constructive collaborative discussions about how best to protect our trees from pests and diseases and we welcome this new strategy.”
Launching the strategy, Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, said: ‘’The UK has a global reputation for setting the high standards for biosecurity of plants and trees but there is no room for complacency. We must seize every opportunity offered by Brexit to strengthen our biosecurity. In 10 years’ time I want to be able to say our oaks are thriving, that pests are being kept at bay and that our woodlands and forests are flourishing. Trees benefit our economy, society and wellbeing significantly and this strategy sets out how we will preserve them for generations to come.”
Sir Harry Studholme, Chair of the Forestry Commission said: “Publishing this strategy is a critical milestone in our ongoing work to safeguard England’s trees. It provides clear direction on how we can work collaboratively across sectors, to combat tree pests and diseases, to protect our beloved forests and woodlands for not only our current generation but for the future.”

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