We were delighted to appoint Tom Jenkins FICFor as the ICF representative on the Defra Tree Health Policy Group (THPG) last month. Tom is Head of Forest Research in Wales.
Historically there has been little formal communication but the group is engaging more widely and openly and through this we are communicating more with members, for example a mailer on the recent outbreak of Ips typographus in Kent and the Tree Health Pilot.
The group has diverse membership, with competing priorities, at a critical time for plant health; it will be a great strength for the Institute to have Tom in place to help us influence policy and raise awareness with members.
Tom attended a meeting on 16 September which covered the following areas:
- An update from the risk and horizon team, including a review of the Plant Health Risk Register and new pest risk analyses
- Policy updates on Oak Processionary Moth, Ips typographus and changes to felling licences
- An update on the England tree planting programme including Local Authority Treescapes Fund, the Shared Outcomes Fund and work on nurseries like the Tree Production Innovation Fund
- An introduction to the Tree Health Pilots, their main geographic areas, target pest species and timescales for applications and agreements
- A pointer to the GB-wide Plant Biosecurity Strategy consultation which is now live – we strongly encourage members to respond
- An update on the Plant Healthy initiative and the need to secure home-grown supplies
If you have any comments or questions about the above, please get in touch.