After first discovering the pathogen in England in September 2021, outbreaks of Phytophthora Pluvialis have been found in Cornwall, Devon and most recently in Cumbria. In the southwest, an updated Notice from the Forestry Commission came into effect on 19 November with additional areas now being included in the demarcated area to stop the spread. In Cumbria, a Notice will come into effect on 26 November. Scottish Forestry is undertaking targeted inspections for the disease across Scotland as a precautionary measure. Please continue to report any tree pests and diseases via TreeAlert. [Description with photographs in our November 2021 e-news]
TRICO® Deer repellent
In 2017 a registration was obtained in the UK for deer repellent called TRICO® (MAPP 18149). Trico has been proven to give highly effective protection to trees, garden plants, vineyards, orchards and agricultural crops against browsing. It has good rainfastness and is visible thus providing effective protection against game damage during both the summer and winter. It is a ready-to-use spray and can be applied using conventional knapsack sprayers.
During site visits last year UKFCG became aware that several forest managers are trialling or using this product. We would welcome feedback on the use of Trico, if anyone would like to summarise the results of their monitoring on this subject, we could circulate this information for the benefit of others who may be considering options for protecting trees from deer browsing.
Employers responsibilities to workers regarding the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are changing from 6 April 2022
The regulations and accompanying impact assessment extend employers and employees duties in respect of personal protective equipment to workers.
What is PPE?
PPE is defined in the regulations as “all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects the person against one or more risks to that person’s health or safety, and any addition or accessory designed to meet that objective.”
What does this mean for employers?
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 place a duty on every employer in Great Britain to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to ‘employees’ who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work. The PPER 2022 extends this duty to workers and comes into force on 6 April 2022. Employers need to carefully consider whether the change to UK law apply to them and their workforce and make the necessary preparations to comply.
What does this mean for workers?
If a risk assessment indicates a worker requires PPE to carry out their work activities, the employer must carry out a PPE suitability assessment and provide the PPE free of charge as they do for employees. The employer will be responsible for the maintenance, storage and replacement of any PPE they provide, and as a worker, you will be required to report loss and defects in the PPE which is provided, use the PPE in accordance with the training and instruction provided, and ensure PPE is returned to the accommodation provided by the employer.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 interim guidance
HSE has prepared interim guidance to help employers identify whether they and their workforce may be impacted by the changes and explains what employers may need to do to prepare for the changes.
SEPA consultations (Scotland)
[This may also of interest to forest managers in England and Wales; the article refers to the draft UKWAS v5 – implementation due in 2023]
Following our newsletter in October last year when we notified forest managers of new procedures for consultations with SEPA, we have recently received SEPA’s updated generic response. Please see below the SEPA response which has raised some concerns (highlighted), we have taken this up with Confor whose response is shown below the SEPA communication.
Thank you for your consulting with SEPA regarding the ……………. forest plan. I would provide the following brief general comments which apply to this and other sites.
- The UK Forestry Standard is currently under review and landowners may be pushed towards providing a more economic-biodiversity rich LTFP rather than mixed conifer dominated plans. This aspiration for sustainable forest management is laid out within the Scotland’s Forestry Strategy 2019-2029 plan. SEPA therefore expects all plans to include diversity of tree species and a healthy riparian zone packed with broadleave trees planted in an inspiring fashion to deliver sustainable forest management.
- For the Drumtassie burn and tributaries, any watercourse in/around the area should receive focus from a riparian management viewpoint in terms of planting riparian features such as broadleaf trees, copses and glades. There are numerous watercourses which can offer an excellent opportunity to incorporate the principles as outlined within the Riverwoods Initiative to promote a far more exciting and diverse woodland riparian zone Home | Riverwoods. These features provide a valuable habitat corridor for wildlife and will encourage biodiversity.
- Good site planning is required on pollution prevention. For contractors and site managers, reference should be made to the Forestry & Water Scotland Know the Rules Booklet, version 2, and it is imperative that all contractors follow the guidance therein. On-site tools (confor.org.uk)and strive to go beyond those measures.
- In accordance with the published Scottish Forestry “Cultivation of Upland Woodland Creation Sites -Applicants Guide“, the focus should be to incorporate low risk intrusive techniques to minimise soil and carbon losses to air and water such as mounding.
- Any access tracks should ideally avoid areas of shallow peat to avoid disturbance of key habitat and release of organic compounds to surface waters.
- Any fords should be replaced with log bridges or culvert crossings.
- Prior to site departure, all machinery working within the forest block must be power washed as per good practice to avoid the accidental spread of invasive species. This practice also allows machines to be inspected and repairs identified. Photographic record of this wash down should be kept for UKWAS audit inspection.
- If the plan is to use tree guard tubes and/or vole guards then these must come with a tree guard removal plan after the trees are established. Leaving the plastic-based tree/vole guards lying on the landscape is not acceptable and constitutes improper waste disposal.
- For any properties in/around the plan area, it is imperative that contact is made with the Local Authority Environmental Health Department to establish whether they hold any details on any private water supplies in or aroundthe Plan area. All efforts must be made to gleam information from householders on private water supply source areas and header tanks and transfer pipework. If any are identified adjacent to or within the proposed area, then great care MUST be taken to protect water quality hence all operations must strive to go beyond compliance with best practice due to this sensitivity. All source areas must be afforded maximum protection from machinery damage, compaction and pollution from all forest activities, including future operations. This also applies to water transfer pipework. The buffer distances highlighted in the Know the Rules Booklet are minimum distances and greater zones should be allocated where source areas are extensive or boundaries unknown. The 50m quoted is a minimum buffer value and should be exceeded depending on how extensive the supply source area is.
I am aware these comments are holistic but they should be captured in documentation and procedural form by landowners and their agents. For example if no consideration has been given to private water supplies then that is a serious omission and should be corrected to avoid future UKFS non-compliance issues.
Thank you for flagging this up. I have had other members mention that SEPA is pushing its own ‘strive to go beyond those measures’ agenda. Other members have reported that SEPA have requested UKWAS level standards on none certified sites, rather than accepting that the UKFS is the minimum.
If SEPA expects that every machine will be power washed before leaving every site they are mistaken. I do not doubt the need to carry out good biosecurity and I trust that it is done when required, at the end of the day no-one really wants to spread diseases.
Would an auditor want to see pictures of the washing taking place? I am not sure it proves much other than a machine was washed. It does not prove it was washed every time or that it was the only machine on site. That could be the day it arrived new and clean from the dealer!
UKWAS revision Oct 2021 new section below. I would read this as only power washed when needed. No mention of photographs.
The Managing forest operations to protect the water environment doc clearly states that washing down is to prevent the transportation of invasive species (page 33), which I am sure most people would agree with. I would not read it as ‘every time’. There are no plans I am aware of to revise this doc as we are looking forward to UKFS review.
Also I think the comment on mixed conifer plantations is out of order as the review of UKFS technical detail has not begun yet.
Confor and SEPA meet quarterly to discuss issues, this will be added to the list.
If you have any comments on the subject of consultee feedback (good or bad) please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stakeholder consultation lists
Thank you to everyone who has provided updated lists in response to our recent e-mail, still a few replies awaited. Only those we contacted for updates need reply.