RESTRICTIONS on felling are to be enforced in a bid to slow the spread of the eight-toothed European spruce bark beetle in Kent and East Sussex, forestry chiefs have confirmed. 

Woodland managers, landowners, the forestry industry and tree nurseries will need to provide written notification to the Forestry Commission if they intend to fell susceptible spruce material, or kill any trees of the genus Picea A. Dietr over 3 metres in height, within the counties.  

In addition, prohibitions on susceptible material being left in situ following felling, without written authorisation from an inspector, will be implemented.

READ MORE: Mass felling operation underway in fight back against 'devastating' spruce bark beetle

A new notice enforcing these measures will come into force on Wednesday, December 22, building on existing restrictions on the movement of susceptible materials out of or within the demarcated area, which also extends to the likes of London. 

Forestry Journal:

Nicola Spence, the UK chief plant health officer, said: "The eight-toothed spruce bark beetle poses no threat to human health, but can have a serious impact on spruce trees species and the forestry industry.

"We are taking swift and robust action to limit the spread of the outbreaks as part of our well-established biosecurity protocol used for tree pests and diseases. These new restrictions in the demarcated area will further strengthen this strategy, as part of our ongoing eradication efforts.

"Any sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission via its TreeAlert online portal." 

READ MORE: Forestry Commission acts on European spruce bark beetle tree pest findings in Kent

The latest development comes shortly after we told of a mass felling operation in Kent, which recenty got underway in a bid to slow down the beetles' spread.