November 20, 2017

Campaigners call for more trees in Michael Gove’s ‘Green Brexit’


Michael Gove’s ‘Green Brexit’ pledge must include a greater number of trees into the British landscape in a way that is clearly linked to the needs of the UK economy, countryside, campaigners have said. Recent Forestry Commission figures showed tree planting across the UK was at its lowest level for more than five years, leading some organisations to question whether the Government will meet its target to plant 11 million trees by 2020. Campaigners have stated that the UK would benefit from more forests and woods and they should be used to help tackle climate change, enhance biodiversity and provide…

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Tree surgeons head out to Caribbean to help clear aftermath of devastating hurricanes


Specialist disaster relief charity DART International UK charity, now in its third year, deployed its first team to the Caribbean on September 24 after hurricanes. The team has reported that the island of Dominica is 90% devastated and distributing aid will remain a huge challenge until the main ring road around the island is cleared of tree debris. That work will fall to the DART team, who are believed to be the first UK-based team to arrive on the ground on the island. Jenny Long, one of DART’s volunteers, said: “We have received confirmation so far that the DART team have…

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Pear trees at risk from invasive European weevil, warns Natural History Museum


Pear harvests in Britain may be in danger from an invasive European weevil which has been spotted for the first time at an orchard in Kent. The tiny pest, called Anthonomus spilotus is known to damage pear crops in continental Europe. But scientists at the Natural History Museum realised it had spread to the UK after a farmer from Maidstone in Kent sent in a bug to its identification team, in London. Like most weevils, the beetles have a long ‘nose’ or rostrum which they use to bore into plants. It attacks the leaf buds of pear trees early in the spring, reducing the number of fruit produced…

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Tighter plant controls are vital in fight against ash dieback, says report by John Innes Centre scientists in Norwich


Norwich scientists have offered some hope in the battle against ash dieback – but warned tighter controls on plant movements are vital to limit the effects of the deadly tree disease. Norfolk became the epicentre of an outbreak in September 2012 when the UK’s first confirmed case of the fungal infection was found in wild trees at Lower Wood in Ashwellthorpe, near Wymondham. The county’s scientific community was at the forefront of the fightback against the disease, and now researchers at the John Innes Centre, based at the Norwich Research Park, have released a new a study on the Hymenoscyphus…

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The cap doesn’t fit: needing a common countryside policy after Brexit


A radical new approach to rural policy and funding which treats all land uses equally is needed after Brexit, says a report published by Confor today. The Common Agricultural Policy has been “a straitjacket” on rural areas and must be replaced by A Common Countryside Policy, according to the leading forestry and wood processing trade body. Confor, which represents 1600 forestry and wood-using businesses across the UK, launched the report at an event the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester – and later planned to present the document to Environment Secretary Michael Gove. The report says: “After Brexit, forestry seeks fair, equal…

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Andrew Woods takes over as Royal Forestry Society President


Andrew Woods has taken over as President of the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) this month (October) as Sophie Churchill’s term of office comes to an end. He thanked Sophie Churchill, OBE, for her two years of service, saying: “Sophie brought with her the particular skills and experience of her work with the National Forest, which were much appreciated and valued by the Society.” Citing the need to increase public understanding of the importance of managing woodlands he said: “The message we need to convey is that there is more to forestry than just planting trees. The right choice of species…

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Meeting called to decide what to do about Lenton Abbey tree ‘problems’


A meeting is to be held to work out what to do about Lenton Abbey’s trees. The area near the University of Nottingham is a particularly ‘leafy’ part of the city, but some residents think that trees are getting out of hand – and that it at least 17 years since they were last trimmed. Catrina Wilmot, of Anslow Avenue, has started a petition to cut them back, and says that it has got more than 100 signatures in a week. Some of the trees are on Nottingham City Homes’ property, and the housing organisation has agreed to attend a…

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New survey on street trees reveals how many city people want access to greenspace


Almost three-quarters of city people want access to greenspace or parkland within walking distance from their home, a new survey shows. Seventy-eight per cent believe that trees are essential for relaxing and making them feeling happier. A similar percentage cited their importance for health and removing air pollution. The survey* was commissioned by the Woodland Trust and comes as it launches a nationwide ‘neighbourhood watch scheme’ for trees – to inspire city people to value and protect the natural wonders on their doorstep. People are urged to join forces with their neighbours and apply for one of 500 Street Trees Celebration…

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Driver warns of “death trap” tree on A90


The woman was travelling along the A90 Parkway road near the Tesco roundabout on September 13 when a huge branch came crashing down onto her car, hitting the bonnet and bouncing underneath – causing extensive damage. But despite raising the issue with both Aberdeen City Council and Bear Scotland, the debris – and remaining bit of the tree – is still in place. Now she fears someone could have a serious accident at the spot, especially with the high winds expected on Sunday. She said: “The tree is rotten and is hanging right over the Parkway. “What fell down on…

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Pear tree which is set to be destroyed by HS2 will live on in sapling


A prize-winning pear tree which is set to be uprooted to make way for HS2 will live on after a sapling was grown by horticulturists. Numerous failed attempts have been made to save Cubbington’s historic wild pear tree, including a petition to the Parliamentary Select Committee on HS2 which called for a tunnel which cut under the wood instead of through it. But Cubbington Action Group against HS2 has decided to take different approach and join forces with a lecturer and students from Shuttleworth Agricultural College in Bedfordshire to graft cuttings from the tree. The tree is around 250 years-old…

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