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How to act on a Statutory Plants Health Notice (SPHN)

Types of statutory notices

We issue two types of statutory notices.

SPHN

A SPHN is a notice that requires the destruction of the trees within a defined time period. This is usually either by the next 31 March or 31 August, depending on when the disease was confirmed and allowing reasonable time period for the work to be completed.

SPHN(m)

A SPHN(m) is a movement notice. This requires the disease to be contained on site. There is no requirement to destroy (or fell) the trees.

All SPHNs are at least a 100 metre radius around any infected or symptomatic tree as this is the distance that the majority of the spores are initially spread.

Permission you'll need to fell trees

If you have an SPHN, then this gives you an order to fell the trees as identified in the notice. No further permission is required.

If you have been served an SPHN(m), then you'd need permission to fell the trees via a Felling Licence Application (FLA) from our permitting team.

Felling other tree species in the red area on your map

Only species detailed in Section 3 of the notice can be felled as part of the SPHN.

If you wish to fell other uninfected tree species you will require a felling licence.

Make a felling licence application.

Biosecurity measures

The felling and movement of your timber must comply with biosecurity instructions noted under the movement licence supplied to the hauliers by Forest Research.

To prevent moving the disease to other sites, we recommend simple precautions are taken such as sticking to paths, brushing dirt and leaves off footwear or tyres when leaving a forest and, if working in and around the trees yourself, consider the use of an appropriate disinfectant.

We advise you maintain this approach for at least three years after felling infected trees as spores of the disease can remain active for this period.

Find out more about biosecurity.

Moving infected timber

Find a list of the mills licenced to process infected larch on the Forest Research website.

Apply for a movement licence if you wish to move the timber yourself.

Restocking

If the felling has been carried out under an SPHN then there is no requirement under the Plant Health Order to replant, but if the felling results in a significant loss of woodlands there may be a breach under the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) Regulations 1999.

Advice on felling and replanting

We cannot provide direct advice on felling or replanting for individual sites or recommend contractors.

If you are unsure how to go about forest operations or grant applications you can contact a private forestry agent. We can give you a list of forestry agents. You can also use an agent not on the list. Contact us at treehealth@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk.

We do not recommend you replant with trees susceptible to Phytophthora ramorum.

Grants for restocking

The Glastir Woodland Creation scheme offers replanting grants together with some additional aid where specific other work is necessary to make the replanting successful.

Find out more about Glastir Woodland Creation.

Visits from tree health professionals

Colleagues from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) may conduct a follow up survey of the surrounding area and may wish to visit your woodland as well. They will make contact with you before visiting.

We may also re-visit the site as part of our standard compliance checks to ensure the fulfilment of the notice, and to determine if it is appropriate to close/revoke the notice.

Duration of the statutory notice

We generally revoke the notice three years after felling is completed, if all the infected material has been removed.

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