Biosecurity risk assessment for woodland managers

Initial assessment

Before a planned project, activity or event is carried out, conduct an initial feasibility assessment.

Use any existing data to inform your initial bio-security risk assessments including checking records for any known tree health pest and disease, and INNS.

Contact us at to find out if there are specific known pests and diseases at the location so a specific pest and disease risk assessment can be written.

Undertake or obtain ecological surveys and/or assessments and record and report any suspicious species or tree health symptoms and INNS.

Your biosecurity risk assessment

When you carry out your risk assessment consider:

  • Existing presence of species
  • Potential for accidental spread as a consequence of survey, import of materials such as soil and vegetation
  • Landscaping and planting schemes
  • Remedial actions
  • Alternative methodologies
  • Order of work or event

Risk assessment template

Any risk assessment template you use can include:

  • Your details
  • Location of the hazard
  • Nature of the hazard
  • Risk
  • Likelihood
  • Inherent risk
  • Control measures to be put in place

Control measures

Examples of control measures include:

  • Producing risk mapping to highlight which forest blocks are at greatest risk of harbouring infection
  • Organise the event/activity in such an order that the lowest risk areas are visited first (ie those with no know infection)
  • Decontaminate, brush clothing, wash boots, leave debris at the location
  • Park on ”clean” forest roads/paths and remain as free of infected debris as possible
  • Soil and mud from “dirty” forest roads to be removed either onsite, or before visiting next forest venue. (ie using a garage jet wash or similar off site)
  • Keep to footpaths where possible. Avoid/close forests where out breaks are extensive, particularly where operations are underway
  • Ensure appropriate biosecurity cleaning stations are in place for vehicles, equipment, footwear (particularly in high risk zones highlighted on mapping) and use appropriate chemicals
  • Select designated safe parking areas during events
  • Source locally grown planting materials
  • Use our biosecurity resources
  • Ensure biosecurity signage and information is placed on sites

Amendments to projects, activities or events

The main purpose of a biosecurity risk assessment is to prevent or reduce tree health risks both in the short and long term.

Activities, projects, events or planting proposals should be revised in line with the level of identified risk.

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