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GB and NI Tree Health Advisory Board

Terms of Reference


The GB and NI Tree Health Advisory Group supports the delivery of country strategies for addressing tree health issues by facilitating a cross border perspective. It acts as a forum for discussing the Forestry Commission’s and other Government organisations’ approach to tree health and biosecurity, to assist it in meeting its objective to:

“Preserve the health and vitality of our forests, trees and woodlands through strategies which exclude, detect, and respond to, existing and new pests and pathogens of trees, whether of native or exotic origin.”

It considers all aspects of tree health in both the urban and rural environment. It does not, however, consider tree health issues affecting fruit or exotic ornamental species that are not commonly found in the wider environment, except where these act as a significant pathway risk.

The remit of the Group is:

• Identification of cross border issues requiring technical advice to support the need for joint action between countries to address tree health threats. This might include producing UK statistics and maps, sharing latest science and best practice, think piece papers on wider disease management, position papers on, for example, biomass imports, and consideration of other trade and technical issues.

• Providing advice on research programmes and associated projects on aspects of the detection, identification, biology, management and understanding of relevant pests;

• Raising the profile, awareness, and understanding of plant health controls and tree health issues amongst all stakeholders, including the general public.

• Retaining links with other plant health interests and recognition of the full range of ecosystem services provided by and dependant on healthy and resilient woodlands.


The Group:

Reports to the Forestry Commission's Director of Corporate and Forestry Support, who will escalate advice and issues raised as appropriate, particularly to country Chief Plant Health Officers;

Receives reports from:

• the Forestry Commission's Head of Plant Health
• country policy and operational leads on tree health
• scientists providing evidence on specific threats
• stakeholders, who wish to raise specific issues

Method of working

 The GB and NI Tree Health Advisory Group does not have an executive function but will support and supplement the work of country tree health policy advisory groups by:

• discussing developments, especially new or changing pests
• providing feedback to stakeholders, both internal and external
• commissioning  technical studies and position papers, as necessary
• monitoring progress of tree health research projects
• working through members’ parent bodies to provide support and resources

The Group may call on experts, both internal and external, in particular fields to attend to discuss subjects in their area of competence.

The Group will meet every quarter in June, September, December and March, or more frequently if events so determine.

Confidentiality – any material circulated to members that should not be passed more widely will be clearly marked ‘Sensitive not for wider circulation’.

Minutes and supporting papers, where appropriate, will be published here.


Roger Coppock, (FC CFS) (Chair)
John Morgan, (FC CFS)
Hugh Clayden, (FC Scotland)
John Spiers, (SG)
Duncan Stone, (SNH)
John Browne, (NRW)
Martin Williams, (WG)
Andrew Smith, (FC England)
Alan Corson, (FE England)
Adrian Jowitt, (Natural England)
Nicola Spence, (Defra)
Joan Webber, (FR)
Diane Stevenson (DARDNI)
Jim Crummie (DARDNI)
Jane Barbrook, (APHA)
Austin Brady, (Woodland, Trust)
Ray Hawes, (National Trust)
Harry Frew/Jamie Dewhurst, (ConFor)
Caroline Harrison, (ConFor)
David Sulman, (UKFPA)
John Dye, (TIMCON)
Nick Boulton, (TTF)
Jon Heuch, (Arboricultural Association and ICF)
Mike Seville, (CLA)
David Brown, (HTA)
Chris Cheffings, (JNCC)
Jon Stokes, (Tree Council)
Keith Sacre (TDAG)
Landscape Institute/BALI (practitioner/influencer)

Deputies can be provided to ensure full attendance at meetings.