Anna O’Connor from the Woodland Trust writes:
It’s time to act!
Our trees are under unprecedented threat from new pests and diseases from other parts of the world. These could have a devastating impact on our future economy, forestry industry, landscapes and biodiversity.
Observatree aims to protect UK trees, woods and forests from existing or new pests and diseases. With advice from the UK Plant Health Risk Group, we focus on the ones of highest concern. The earlier these are spotted, the higher the chances that outbreaks can be eliminated or controlled.
A network of 200 UK-wide Observatree volunteers have been recruited and trained as citizen scientists for the project. They conduct surveys and help verify or investigate any tree health concerns submitted.
How you can help us
But it’s not just about volunteers. If you are actively involved with trees, woods and forests then please be vigilant and report any pest and disease sightings or things that look worrying. By working together we can have more eyes on the ground and hope to secure a better future for our trees.
How we can help you
To help support you Observatree has a number of free, downloadable resources available. Included in these is a handy pest and disease calendar which highlights key pest and disease signs and symptoms across the year. Pests and diseases that could be encountered in Tower Hamlets include the Oak Processionary Moth (see header photo), Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner and Plane Wilt (photos below – click to enlarge).
Register to stay in touch
Observatree produces quarterly bulletins and monthly blogs about their progress so, if you want to know more, sign up for further information.
Funded by the EU’s Life+ Programme, Observatree is a partnership project. Led by Forest Research, the research agency of the Forestry Commission, partners are Fera Science Ltd, the National Trust and the Woodland Trust. Supporting the project are APHA, Defra and Natural Resources Wales.
All photos copyright Woodland Trust