Biosecurity

Tackling the increasing threat to tree health

Dirty CarThe discovery of Chalara Dieback of Ash in 2012 raised Government and public awareness of threats to plant health from new pests and diseases. This resulted in the development of a Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain, highlighting activities to improve protection to crops, trees and plants.

Diseases and pests can be easily transmitted

It isn’t always possible to see tree pests and diseases. They can spread through:

  • Climate and weather
  • Imported goods, packaging and shipping crates
  • Insects
  • Soil
  • Human interaction (intentional or accidental)
  • Animals (wild and pets eg horses and dogs)

Good biosecurity can help with control

Cleaning bootBiosecurity is a set of precautions aiming to prevent the introduction or movement of harmful organisms. Good biosecurity practice can reduce the risk of spreading pests, diseases and invasive species.

If you actively visit woods, forests or parks follow these top tips for reducing pest and disease transmission:

  • Before leaving the site, clean off any mud, plant material or leaves (main sources of contamination) from:
    • footwear
    • clothing
    • bike tyres
    • children’s equipment – eg buggies, scooters
  • Keep to obvious paths
  • Look out for information on noticeboards
  • Observe any biosecurity signs
  • Avoid taking plants or cuttings from woodland
  • Resist planting out home grown plants and trees in woodland
  • Wash down bike and vehicle tyres if off-roading

Find out more about preventing the spread of harmful organisms.

Know the rules if planning to bring plants in from abroad.

Get further guidance on biosecurity.