New controls to stop the spread of bark beetle tree pest

After the eight-toothed spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus, was discovered earlier this year in Kent following routing plant health surveillance, additional measures have been introduced to prevent the spread in Kent and East Sussex. Building on existing restrictions in the area, a new notice will come into force on Wednesday 22 December that includes the prohibition of susceptible materials being left in the demarcated area following felling, without written authorisation from an inspector.

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The UK Chief Plant Health Officer, Nicola Spence, said:

“The eight-toothed spruce bark beetle poses no threat to human health, but can have a serious impact on spruce trees species and the forestry industry.

“We are taking swift and robust action to limit the spread of the outbreaks as part of our well-established biosecurity protocol used for tree pests and diseases. These new restrictions in the demarcated area will further strengthen this strategy, as part of our ongoing eradication efforts.

“Any sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission via its TreeAlert online portal.”

For more information on how to identify specific tree pests and diseases, visit this page.

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