Top tips for pro­tect­ing na­ture

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update - By Laerke Chris­tensen

As the sum­mer ap­proaches, the Forestry Com­mis­sion is ask­ing peo­ple to help limit spread­able tree and plant dis­ease. The or­gaani­sa­tion’s “Keep it Clean” cam­paign in­vites walk­ers and ram­blers to ob­serve a cou­ple of guide­lines when out and about in the coun­try­side. Firstly, al­ways brush mud and leaves from the bot­tom of your boots be­tween vis­its to dif­fer­ent parks, gar­dens and wood­lands. Se­condly, wash off mud from bikes and bug­gies be­tween vis­its. The Forestry Com­mis­sion’s head of tree health, Andy Hall, said: “Sim­ple steps like clean­ing your bikes, boots and bug­gies be­tween vis­its will re­duce the risk of spread­ing plant dis­eases from place to place in mud, leaves and wa­ter – so that our trees and plants will thrive for gen­er­a­tions to come. ”Part of the cam­paign is an at­tempt to limit the spread of Phy­toph­tho­ras, a pathogen that es­pe­cially af­fects larch trees found in the south-west of Eng­land. The pathogen is es­pe­cially dan­ger­ous be­cause it can sur­vive for more than a year in soil and dead leaves. Si­mon Toomer , the Na­tional Trust’s na­tional spe­cial­ist for plant conservation, praised Bri­tain’s di­verse na­ture, added: “We sup­port this cam­paign’s am­bi­tion to en­cour­age all our vis­i­tors to do ev­ery­thing they can to help pre­serve our rich plant her­itage.”

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