Sweet result for CLA on chestnut import ban

The CLA has successfully lobbied the Government to bring in a ban on imports of sweet chestnut trees from areas affected by blight

A chestnut tree
A chestnut tree

The CLA has successfully lobbied the Government to bring in a ban on imports of sweet chestnut trees from areas affected by blight.

The association said this important move will give sweet chestnut trees in the UK the best chance of remaining free from this devastating disease. CLA North regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “We have been lobbying for this development and have met with Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to discuss the issue on a number of occasions.

“Tree health is crucial to the countryside and the rural economy, and we will continue to work closely with Defra to protect our trees from sweet chestnut blight, Chalara, Phytophthora and other pests and diseases.”

Mr Paterson recognised the role the CLA played in developing tree health policy by initially raising concerns over the devastating affect of the disease in areas of Southern Europe.

Miss Fairburn said: “It is important for Britain to retain its protected zone status for as many trees as possible. The use of protected zone status must be the standard practice and not an emergency measure.”

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