As part of the ongoing effort to keep our forests and trees healthy, Forestry Commission Scotland is urging land managers and the forestry sector to help promote good biosecurity practice to colleagues, contractors and the public, through the Commission’s new ‘Keep It Clean’ campaign.
The Keep it Clean campaign offers different versions of a free-to-download and use graphic, which aims to encourage everyone who works in, or plans to visit, a woodland to arrive with clean kit.
Anna Brown, the Commission’s Head of Tree Health, said;
“Practising good biosecurity is one of the key aspects of preventing the spread of tree diseases.
“Pests and disease can spread rapidly and one of the ways that they can arrive in a healthy forest is to be carried there in the mud and forest debris that gets stuck on people’s boots and car or bicycle tyres, or even on dogs’paws and horses’hooves.
“We’re encouraging anyone involved in land or forest management to download this visual aid to help spread the message and make people aware of the importance of their role in keeping our forests and trees healthy.”
The simple advice to ‘Keep It Clean’ asks people to take a few minutes before visiting a woodland to clean dirt and mud off boots, tyres, kit and pets - and to make it a habit to check and clean before every woodland visit.
“Keeping it clean is a fundamental aspect of biosecurity.
“Pests and diseases are no respecter of boundaries of any sort and can cause significant environmental and economic damage to our forests and landscapes, which of course impacts on everyone’s enjoyment of woodlands.
“Everyone can do their bit to help promote biosecurity and the people who visit and work in woodlands are the best defence trees have.”
Anyone looking to make use of the new visual device – either for site signage or for inclusion in trade magazines, staff newsletters or public facing publications - can obtain the device, and guidance on how to use it, online.