PHYTOPHTHORA Pluvialis, a new tree disease spreading across the UK, has been confirmed in Shropshire for the first time. 

A demarcated area will now be set up in the county from next Thursday, which will prohibit the movement of any wood, isolated bark and trees from a number of species, including Douglas fir. 

Felling restrictions will also be set up to stop any trees being torn down without the express written authorisation of the Forestry Commission. 

READ MORE: What is Phytophthora Pluvialis? Everything we know about new tree disease

Nicola Spence, the UK’s chief plant health officer, said: "We are taking robust and swift action against the findings of Phytophthora pluvialis at these sites, as part of our well-established biosecurity protocol for tree pests and diseases.

"I urge all sectors to support efforts to tackle this pathogen by checking the health of western hemlock and Douglas-fir trees. 

"Key symptoms to look out for are lesions on the stem, branch or roots. Any sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission via its TreeAlert online portal." 

The finding means P. Pluvialis, first discovered in Oregon, USA, has been confirmed in five English counties - including Surrey - parts of Wales and the north of Scotland. The Shropshire demarcated zone covers around 75 square miles of the county, with towns such as Ludlow affected. 

A notice read: "Provision is made within the Notices to enable plant health inspectors to authorise movements and processing of material from the demarcated area where this can be achieved without risking the spread of Phytophthora pluvialis.

Forestry Journal:

"The Notices also now include an additional restriction on the felling of susceptible material within the demarcated areas, unless the Forestry Commission has been notified in writing in advance.

"Landowners must provide notice of their intention to fell relevant material at least 14 days in advance of any felling in the demarcated areas."