Thursday, 7 April 2011
John Wilding, Head of Forestry and Environment has returned from a visit to Penrith to support a seminar for woodland owners in the north of England on the impacts we are seeing from Phytophthora ramorum (PR) on Japanese Larch in the SW. Our experience is that if you catch it early and take immediate action the downside can be reduced. Equally if you don't catch it the downside is a nightmare (eg Plym Woods) for the landscape, timber values and the local community. John's practical input was much appreciated. Today we received a letter from Caroline Spelman, the Secretary of State, in response to a letter the Estate wrote suggesting actions that needed to be taken to reduce the impacts of PR. It was pleasing to note the appreciation from both Defra and the Forestry Commission of the Estate's actions to date regarding PR and also the fact that PR is being taken very seriously by Defra, FC, Forest Research and the Food and Environment Research Agency. Across the Estate we must not be complacent - hopefully everyone is now briefed on PR through team meetings, however, if anyone wants more information please let John know.