[holding answer 10 December 2009]: The Forestry Commission, through its Forest Research Agency, is carrying out research into a number of pests and diseases of trees including, more recently, increased investigation into Acute Oak Decline. It is also continuing collaborative research into a better understanding of the diseases caused by Phytophthora ramorum and P. kernoviae as part of the five-year programme announced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Jane Kennedy) on 3 March 2009.
The Forestry Commission has also recently set up a Biosecurity Programme Board with representation from key partners in the forest industry sector. The board will advise the Forestry Commissioners on how best to deliver a programme of protecting trees and woodlands against pests and diseases. This will be set out in a new Plant Health Strategy the Commission is helping to develop which it intends to publish in 2010.