Further to the article in our March newsletter, it is sad to report that the tree disease, Phytophthora ramorum, has spread to 7 sites in the Project area. These are all in woodland, where the infected tree is Japanese Larch affecting an area of approximately 45 acres (18 hectares) mainly around the LynherValley.
This disease has been compared for its potentially disastrous effects on the landscape to foot and mouth in the livestock industry. Many of you may already be aware of the substantial felling in the GlynnValley between Liskeard and Bodmin, the Bere peninsular in the lower WalkhamValley and around Burrator Reservoir on the edge of Dartmoor. We hope the Project landscape will be less severely affected because of the large amount of deciduous woodland.
In order to help prevent spreading the disease we have ensured all our walks, this summer, are away from any larch woodland. For those of you who are dog walkers, please be conscious of the movement of potentially contaminated plant material and soil on both footwear and dogs feet, if you are walking in local woodland. Furthermore we ask for you to monitor your gardens, as plants such as rhododendrons can also catch this infection.
A diseased rhododendron
The disease is not harmful to humans or animals, however, the fungus-like pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, is easily spread. You may notice many woodland owners will be putting in place bio security procedures to try to contain the outbreak. Please read and be respectful of the signs explaining the simple precautions placed at the entrances to woods where the disease is present.