Starting from Stonehouse, on the edge of the Severn Estuary in Gloucestershire, at around 2.30am on a cold, and likely wet and windy morning on Thursday 6 December, four members will be riding to the Houses of Parliament to deliver the biosecurity message in person at the official release of the Arboricultural Association (AA) Guidance Note: Application of Biosecurity in Arboriculture.
AA members Simon Cox, the co-author of the new guidance; Russell Ball, tree research fundraiser at Fund4Trees; Karl Stuckey, director of Nature First; and Peter Wharton MICFor (Chartered Arboriculturist) of Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants, kindly representing both the AA and the Institute of Chartered Foresters are riding over 100 miles in one morning, to deliver a unified industry message in support of the document and to encourage further consideration by industry stakeholders and government of the health and well-being of our valuable tree stock.
Leaving in the middle of the night they will ride over 112 miles, crossing two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, before braving the streets of London, all against the elements and the clock.
On arrival the intrepid arboriculturists will be greeted by parliamentarians and lords from both houses as well as representatives from DEFRA, The Woodland Trust and other cross-sector partners, gathering to learn more about significance of the Application of Biosecurity in Arboriculture and how they can support the industry going forward.
Biosecurity is a pivotal issue and has rightfully gained national awareness ever since the outbreak of Chalara (Ash Dieback) in 2012. The free guidance has been produced to enable the profession to be prepared to deal with current and potential threats to the tree stock of the UK and Ireland. Just one example of the many threats on the horizon is Asian Longhorn Beetle, which could impact on some 3.8 million trees, 31% of the whole tree population. Replacing these trees and their benefits would cost £23 billion.
If this inspires you and you’d like to contribute to the industry, get in contact with the Arboricultural Association or the Institute of Chartered Foresters. Alternatively, you can make a donation to the important work of the Fund4Trees charity and post your messages of support on social media using the hashtag #treesbiosecurity.