A major new campaign to protect the UK’s mighty oak trees from threats including pests and diseases has been officially launched at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show by Lord Gardiner, Defra’s Biosecurity Minister.
The Action Oak Partnership - made up of charities, environmental organisations and landowners – is seeking to raise £15 million for research and monitoring to help safeguard the 121 million oaks in UK woodlands.
Work will include capturing the first detailed picture of the current health of oaks trees, helping to gain a greater understanding of how to preserve their iconic position in our landscape for generations to come.
The campaign contributes to the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan, which was launched by the Prime Minister in January, by helping to strengthen biosecurity and build resilience to protect oaks for future generations. It also builds on the £37 million the Government is already investing in tree and plant health research.
Action Oak is supported by The Prince of Wales, who convened a cross-sector meeting on the issue of plant health and biosecurity at Highgrove, his residence in Gloucestershire, in February. HRH is also the Patron of Woodland Heritage, the charity that will be administering funds raised by the campaign.