Campsie Glen biosecurity call
Forestry and Land Scotland is urging visitors to Campsie Glen to follow the biosecurity ‘Keep it Clean’ advice and help slow the spread of a deadly tree disease.
The Glen is one of several sites across Scotland that has recently been confirmed as having Phytophthora ramorum – commonly referred to as P. ramorum – which attacks and kills larch trees.
The FLS team in the area is now working hard to schedule a programme of felling works to remove affected trees at each of the sites but is calling on forest visitors to play their part and help stop it spreading further afield.
Andy Gallacher, FLS Community Ranger in the area, said;
“This is a horrible disease that can’t be eradicated – and the only way we have to slow its rate of spread is to fell the infected trees and those surrounding them.
“At Campsie, there won’t be any diversions because the affected larch are in the forest away from paths and the forest road – but that doesn’t mean that there’s no risk of spread because the spores that cause this disease can be carried to unaffected sites in mud and forest debris.
“That’s why we’re asking people to follow our ‘Keep it Clean’ advice and take a few minutes to brush or wipe off boots, bike wheels, tent pegs and even your dog’s paws before and after a visit to the Campsie Glen.
“Pests and diseases hitch a ride in mud and debris on shoes, paws and tyres, ending up in new forests where they can spread rapidly in environments with no natural resilience.
“We're doing everything we can to tackle these challenges, but we need our visitors’ help too.”
Although felling work in Campsie will be off the beaten tracks and there will be no diversions, visitors will see plant health notices on site and are urged to follow the advice to ‘Keep it Clean’.
“Everyone working together to adopt new habits will have a positive impact on our forests, help to slow the spread of tree pests and diseases and buy the time to research and develop other actions that we can take to ensure the long term health of our woodlands.”
Notes to editors
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.