New tree health pilot to launch this summer

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New plans have been announced to protect trees, woods and forests from pests and diseases in England.

The Government has launched plans to provide grants to land managers – including farmers – to take action against tree pests and diseases which attack trees, woods and forests.

Owners and managers of trees and woodlands in England are being encouraged to take part in the pilot of the Tree Health Scheme which starts in August.

Measures will include biosecure felling and treatment of diseased or infested trees. The scheme will also support the restocking and maintenance of newly re-planted trees following a pest or disease outbreak.

The pilot will last for three years and, following scrupulous testing and final revisions, the new scheme will fully roll out in 2024. Details of the pilot will be published in the summer ahead of applications opening at the end of August 2021.

The pilot delivers on the Government’s commitment – set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan – to reduce the impact of tree pests and disease.

Professor Nicola Spence, the UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer, said: “Trees provide huge benefits to our economy, society and the environment – from protecting vulnerable wildlife and acting as carbon storage to enabling a sustainable timber industry.”

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With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.