Arborists Biking for Biosecurity
Starting from the home of UK Arboriculture, on the edge of the Severn estuary in Gloucestershire, at around 2.30am on a cold and likely wet and windy morning on Thursday 6th December, four fearless Arboricultural Association (AA) members will be riding to the Houses of Parliament to deliver the biosecurity message in person at the official release of the AA’s Guidance Note: Application of Biosecurity in Arboriculture.
AA members Peter Wharton of Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants (kindly representing both the AA and Institute of Chartered Foresters), Simon Cox (co-author of the new Guidance), Russell Ball, (the legendary tree research fundraiser at Fund4Trees) and Karl Stuckey (Director of Nature First;- one of the longest serving AA approved contractors), are riding over 100 miles in one morning to deliver a unified industry message in support of the document . They also want to encourage industry stakeholders and government of health and well-being to consider further our unique, amazing and valuable tree stock.
Leaving in the middle of the night they will ride over 112 miles, crossing two areas of outstanding natural beauty before braving the streets of London. All this against the elements and the clock!
On arrival, the intrepid arborists will be greeted by parliamentarians as well as Lords from both Houses, representatives from DEFRA. The Woodland Trust and other cross-sector partners, will also be there to learn more about the significance of the Application of Biosecurity in Arboriculture and how they can support the industry going forward.
Biosecurity is a pivotal issue and has rightfully gained national awareness ever since the outbreak of Chalara (Ash Dieback) in 2012. The free guidance represents a landmark for the industry; enabling its professionals at all levels to be prepared to deal with current and potential threats to the tree stock of the UK & Ireland. Just one example of the many threats on the horizon is Asian Longhorn Beetle, which could impact on some 3.8 million trees, 31% of the whole tree population. Replacing these trees and their benefits would cost £23 billion.
If this inspires you and you’d like to contribute to the industry, get in contact with the Arboricultural Association or Institute of Chartered Foresters. Alternatively, you can make a donation to the important work of the Fund4Trees charity and post your messages of support on social media using the hashtag #treesbiosecurity.