Contract Summary

Contract Name: Animal and Plant Health Agency
Main Contractor: Animal and Plant Health Agency
Duration: 8 Days
Contract Value: £20,000

On this project we supported the Animal and Plant Health Agency to investigate and remove samples from a Sweet Chestnut Tree that was the first confirmed case of Sweet Chestnut Blight in the UK.

AEMG Consultancy department recently completed the removal of Sweet Chestnut trees in the Devon area that were infected with Sweet Chestnut Blight. Sweet Chestnut Blight is a plant disease caused by the ascomycete fungus Cryphonectria parasitica.

This pathogen has caused severe epidemics resulting in death and dieback of American sweet chestnut (Castanea dentata) in North America and European sweet chestnut (C. sativa) in continental Europe.

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This is the first finding of the disease in the wider environment in the UK. Previous cases are referred to as interceptions as the trees were infected in Europe then transported into the UK. AEMG worked alongside Dr Ana Perez-Sierra, Head of Tree Health Diagnostic & Advisory Service and her team from Forest Research. AEMG facilitated the collection of samples and completed aerial investigations to help understand the disease progression through the tree.

A strict biosecurity procedure was implemented to ensure no infected material left the site and all kit used was cleaned before leaving site. All waste material was sent for deep burial in a local landfilled transported in sealed skips.

AEMG consultants now have a greater knowledge of Sweet Chestnut Blight and a better understanding of what to look for.