Forest Health days in Scotland

A series of specialised days to disseminate our knowledge of existing pests and diseases as well as the influx of new ones from abroad

News from Forest Research: November 2009

Sarah Green shows the group a Meripilus giganteus fungus on a large old beech at Scone Palace, Perth

The health of our forests has never been more important, as changes in our climate make the UK an increasingly favourable home to new pests and diseases arriving from abroad.

There is a need for those responsible for our forests, woodlands, and urban trees to familiarise themselves with the first signs of trouble and to learn what to do about them. Our tree health specialists are continually monitoring both existing pests and diseases as well as the influx of new ones from abroad. This year, we ran three specialised Forest Health days in Scotland to disseminate this knowledge. Around 100 people participated, including practitioners from the Forestry Commission, the private sector and local authorities. Attendees were encouraged to share what they had learned with colleagues.

On each Forest Health day, a morning session gave an overview of current threats and those that may be just over the horizon. It also covered the basics of how to spot the signs of pests or disease, how to monitor a situation if there is a problem, how and to whom it should be reported, and discussion of any specific concerns. The afternoon was then spent outdoors visiting sites to consider specific issues in local forests.

The days were organised by Steve Penny, Research Liaison Officer (Scotland) in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and the private sector. The events have been very well received by all who attended and we look forward to running further days in Scotland during 2010.

For more information or copies of the presentations given at the Forest Health days contact Steve Penny or see the Forest Health days web pages:


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This and other news stories can be found in the November 2009 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.