Concerns have been raised in the media recently over the threat to ash trees in the UK, following the identification of the potentially deadly disease of Ash Dieback (Chalara faxinea).
British Orienteering has issued the following advice to all clubs on the biosecurity measures that should be taken by all orienteers (i.e. Planners, Controllers and control hangers, as well as competitors) when holding or participating in an area suspected to contain Ash trees:
- Thoroughly wash all footwear before leaving the area, ensuring that all mud, soil and leaf litter is removed. Event organisers may wish to provide water, buckets and brushes at a suitable location i.e. at a point where there is little risk of further contamination.
- On returning home, rinse all boots and shoes in a chlorine based cleaner or garden fungicide and allow them to dry thoroughly. N.B. please read the manufacturer’s label and follow their instructions on use and disposal of the product.
- Thoroughly wash and dry all kit and any other clothing that may potentially have been contaminated with fungal spores.
- Clothing and footwear should not be reused for at least 48 hours after drying.
While it is currently thought that the disease is restricted to East Anglia and the South East of England, this position may change as Forestry Commission pathologists and surveyors enter more woodlands. Please keep reviewing the British Orienteering website for up-to-date information and advice.
Peter Brett, Environment Officer, British Orienteering