Heywood Forestry Operations

Posted by: Chris Witham - Posted on:

Sign giving details of Phytophthora ramorum outbreak
Phytophthora ramorum signage

A Phytophthora ramorum outbreak has been discovered within the Heywood block of woodland between Mitcheldean and Cinderford. The infected trees will need to be felled as per a Plant Health Order. Details of the area of operation can be seen in the downloads below. There are also thinning works that will be undertaken at the same time. The area will be marked by signage as shown in the image very soon.

The works will begin as soon as biosecurity measures are in place, which will be in the next week or so.

If you require any further information please contact the Beat Forester, James Williams or Community Ranger, Hayley Clayton at the Forestry Commission.

How Phytophthora ramorum is detected

More about Phytophthora ramorum

Phytophthora ramorum is a highly damaging plant pathogen (disease) which can infect a wide range of woodland, heathland and garden plants. It behaves in a similar way to fungi, creating spores that then infect other trees and plants. The Forestry Commission use aerial surveys to monitor the distribution of the disease in woodlands within England, and are committed to minimising the spread and impact of the Phytophthora ramorum disease. This disease can affect larch, beech and sweet chestnut trees as well as other ecologically important woodland and heathland plants such as bilberry.

When an area is found to be infected, swift action is required to remove the infected trees before they can produce the spores which then go on to infect more trees. In this way they are protecting non-infected areas, more than £21 million has been invested into plant health research to respond to this and other diseases that affect the UK.

This year the infections found have decreased indicating that the strategy is succeeding. When visiting the Heywood woodland, please adhere to the signage for both health and safety reasons and to assist The Forestry Commission in reducing the spread of the disease. We do apologise for any inconvenience caused during the works, any main tracks will be reinstated after completion.

Further information

Information about Phytophthora ramorum on the Forestry Commission website.

Heywood Harvesting Map 1 (1007 downloads) Heywood Harvesting Map 2 (823 downloads)


4 replies on “Heywood Forestry Operations”

  • It’s a bad time to do it when al the little animals got young disgrace you people just don’t care do you

    • Hi Tim, we are only passing on information from the Forestry Commission and had no control over the timing of the work. Whilst I agree that it could be better, I believe a delay in starting the work could allow the disease to spread and mean a greater area of forest would have to be felled causing more harm to animal habitats.

      Chris Witham Administrator
  • As this disease lives mostly in the needles and bark (or just under the bark) you might like to monitor the works.
    I say this as elsewhere such works have simply discarded the branches etc where the infection lives and taken the trunks away for selling.

    The disease is therefore still present and will spread further – as seems to have happened on Heywood.

    I have already tried to have this discussion with the FC but Mr Stannard refuses to discuss hence suggesting you keep an eye on them.

    Matthew Caldwell
    • Hi Matt, thank you for your comments. Our clerk has been in touch with Kevin Stannard this afternoon who highlighted the Bio Security section on their website to us and assures us they are operating within those guidelines.

      Chris Witham Administrator

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