Young people encouraged to learn about tree health

A pine tree lappet moth caterpillar snacking on a pine needle. Photograph: Forest Research.

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall.

However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.

The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.


We value our content and access to our full site is only available on subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

The public body responsible for forestry regulation and policy in Scotland has produced a series of user-friendly factsheets for younger people to raise awareness of some of the pests and diseases affecting or threatening the country’s forests.

The move by Scottish Forestry is part of activities for the International Year of Plant Health 2020, which is a global initiative to celebrate the benefits of healthy plants, including showing how protecting our forests and woodlands can contribute to a better environment.

The online factsheets cover eight pests and diseases that are either already affecting trees in Scotland, or that Scottish Forestry is trying to prevent from arriving here.

This includes bugs such as the great spruce bark beetle, the large pine weevil and the pine tree lappet moth, as well as tree diseases like ash dieback and ramorum disease of larch trees which affected the forest at Beinn Ghuilean in Campbeltown this year.

Clari Burrell, tree health policy officer with Scottish Forestry, said: ‘Scotland’s forests and woodlands are a fantastic natural resource. They are great places to go for a walk or cycle, or just get away from it all in the countryside. They provide a habitat for wildlife and support thousands of jobs.

‘We need to ensure we keep all these positive benefits and protect our forests from a number of tree pests and diseases that are present in Scotland or may arrive here in the future. During International Year of Plant Health 2020, we are raising awareness of some of the pests and diseases affecting or threatening our forests and woodlands.

‘With climate change and the environment being a hot topic for school pupils, these new free factsheets can be used as a learning resource so that young people are more aware of this often unseen threat to our forests and woodlands.’

The public can play an important role in protecting Scotland’s forests and woodlands from tree pests and diseases.

Through the Keep It Clean campaign, Scottish Forestry encourages visitors to clean their shoes, bikes and other equipment before they visit a woodland.

Clari added: ‘Just take a moment to brush off any visible dirt and give footwear, tyres and kit a quick wash before visiting a forest or woodland. This helps slow disease spread, preserving our woodlands now and for future generations.’

Visit Scottish Forestry’s website at to access the tree pests and diseases factsheets.