In response to Defra’s plans for tighter plant importation controls announced today, Dr Simon Pryor, Director of the Natural Environment at the National Trust, said:
“This is a very welcome move, and exactly the sort of action that is needed to prevent more tree pests and diseases being imported into this country.
“We have been very worried about chestnut blight, and were on the brink of stopping any planting of this species on our own land as we couldn’t be sure they weren’t imported or infected. The extension of the inspections to cover a range of species gives us greater confidence.
“This move is particularly important as both oak and chestnut are species which might be appropriate to replace ash with once the extent of ash dieback is known.”