How to act on a Statutory Plants Health Notice (SPHN)
Types of statutory notices
We issue three types of statutory notices.
A SPHN is a Notice that requires the destruction of the trees within a defined time period. This time period also depends where in Wales the trees are:
In the Disease Limitation Zone (DLZ) this is 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.
In Core Disease Zone 2 (CDZ2), this is either by 31 March or 31 August in three years’ time, depending on when the disease was confirmed.
A SPHN(m) is a movement Notice, this requires the infected material to be contained on site or if moved that they are moved by those licenced to do so; there is no requirement to destroy (fell) the trees.
A SPHN(mr) is a movement notice on request. These are issued in winter when the trees cannot be inspected, but the owner has chosen to fell them via a Felling Licence Application and has agreed to treat the trees as infected. It has the same requirements as the regular movement Notice. Despite it being requested, there is still no requirement to destroy (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) or requested a SPHN(mr), 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.
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.
Moving infected timber
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.