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Statutory Plant Health Notice – Lickey Hills

Mature beech tree at  Lickey Hills parks with sunlight streaking through the branches
Published: Friday, 12th March 2021

In order to stop the spread of a controlled plant pest known as Phytophthora ramorum, the Forestry Commission has issued a Statutory Plant Health Notice for parts of Lickey Hills Country Park.

This means that by the end of August 2021 the city council must remove larch and rhododendron from a 12 hectare area of the park in the Beacon Hill area because it has been identified that those species are infected or suspected to be infected with the pest.

Phytophthora ramorum is an organism harmful to trees and woodlands. The Forestry Commission considers it to be at imminent danger of spreading in Great Britain and quarantines outbreaks when identified.

It is transmitted through airborne spores from plant to plant and there is no known cure. Evidence shows prompt action in reducing levels of infective spores by felling or killing infected plants or trees can be effective in reducing its spread. It is not harmful to humans and animals.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks at Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a very serious situation – we take the stewardship of our parks and open spaces very seriously, so will do everything necessary to fully comply with this instruction in order to protect our wider environment.

“It is clearly unfortunate that we have to carry out work on such a significant scale, but this is essential, and we will ensure that all activity is done in the most environmentally-conscious way possible.”

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