Please follow the links to check out areas of infection that you maybe visiting and please use sensible precautions whilst accessing the countryside during this time.
The following information regarding the Ash dieback fungal infection that is affecting the country has been received by Tony Kempster from the motorised vehicle user representative on the Kent Countryside Access Forum but may also apply in you club’s area. Areas particularly affected as seen on the map available on the web site www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara are the south and east areas.
Forestry Commission Advice.
The fungus ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) has now been confirmed as infecting “wild” populations of ash trees. Detailed information on this organism, suggested precautions to reduce risk of spread, a map showing confirmed sites and details of how to report suspected cases can be found at the following website address: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara <http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara>
The following advice should be followed when working within or visiting areas with confirmed records for the fungus or where you identify/suspect it to be:
· Do not remove any plant material (firewood, sticks, leaves or cuttings) from infected woodland / countryside;
· Before leaving the infected woodland/countryside, clean soil mud and leaves from footwear, wheels and tyres and tools;
· Before visiting other countryside sites, urban green space, garden centres and nurseries thoroughly wash footwear, wheels and tyres and tools;
· Please follow instructions on any official signs found;
· Vegetation-clearance within known infected parts of the County can continue but no plant material should be removed from site but incorporated into wood or brash-piles on site.
· Further, good bio-security precautions around cleaning tools, equipment and vehicles should be followed if working within known Chalara fraxinea infected areas.
· If you suspect any cases of the disease please contact the Forestry Commission Chalara helpline: 08459 33 55 77 (open 8am – 6pm every day); wlmailhtml:firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Further updates on this outbreak will be posted as the situation progresses.
Appendix 1 High risk biosecurity control
This should be applied before entering a woodland or a nursery or other premises where a damaging tree pest is known or suspected to be present; and there is a risk of spreading the pest further.
This level will apply to any sites where forestry statutory control measures are in place. Adopt this level if you are visiting any site where the owner or site manager requests that you take precautionary biosecurity measures.
Extra precautions will be necessary if you handle plants or trees, soil or other material that is known or suspected to be infected. You should try to plan visits to inspect areas where the risk of presence of a damaging pest is thought to be lowest before visiting those with the highest risk. This approach will help to reduce the risk of transmitting damaging plant pests, especially diseases which may be spread in soil or plant debris adhering to footwear.
Clean and, where relevant, disinfect footwear, tools, particularly cutting equipment after each time they are used and before moving on to the next plant or tree;
If vehicles have entered an area where a damaging tree pest is known or suspected to be present, and have been taken off hard roads, ensure that the tyres and wheel arches are adequately cleaned and disinfected well away from drains and water courses and before leaving the site.
The recommended disinfectant to be used is Propellar, but the latest advice is:
The key measure that can be taken to reduce likelihood of further spread by the fungus is to not move leaves / leaf-litter from site to site and ensure that any equipment / tools that have come into contact with leaves / leaf-litter are cleaned before being moved to new sites. Leaves and leaf-litter should be left in situ or moved only short distances into habitat-piles where detrivore, fungal and bacterial activity can break the material down naturally. Local bio-security measures should focus upon leaves and leaf-litter is there are no “resting spores” in the soil. In terms of disinfection of equipment FC guidance states that alcohol-based disinfectant (such as industrial methylated spirit or isopropyl) at 70% concentration is recommended.
Thanks for taking time to read and protect our countryside.