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William Powell AM welcomes move to establish tree disease working group

2013 Mehefin 28 12:11 PM

William Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environment and Rural Affairs, has today welcomed the move to establish a new Welsh Government led group to bring together officials from NRW, the private woodland sector and timber processors to promote more co-ordinated handling of tree disease issues and to provide improved communication to the woodland sector. The group will also work on furthering the strategy to deal with Ash Dieback (Chalara fraxinea) and Ramorum Disease of Larch (Phytophthora ramorum)

William Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat for Mid and West Wales, said:

"This is a positive step forward by the Welsh Government and I welcome the decision. In recent weeks and months Assembly colleagues and I have continually raised the threat of tree diseases such as P ramorum and Ash Dieback, and I am pleased the Government has given way to our calls for greater action.

"I am also particularly glad to see greater inclusion of the woodlands and timber sector given how they are presently underrepresented on NRW's board. As climate change ensues, we need to ensure that Wales has a robust woodland sector. Today's announcement marks a positive step towards achieving this."

Gavin Adkins, Purchasing Director for BSW Timber Group, added:

"BSW support this significant move by the Welsh Government in

prioritising the response to the P Ramorum outbreak. At BSW we have been active in identifying potential routes to market for increased volumes of Larch timber. Confidence of consistent supply is imperative for market development and we welcome the opportunity to work with the Welsh Government in providing a co-ordinated solution to the challenge we all face."