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Defra has allocated £8 million of research funding in support of tree health and plant biosecurity over the five years from 2012/13 to 2016/17, increasing its spend in response to the recommendation by the Independent Panel on Forestry to increase resourcing and pace in this area. Additional funds have also been found from existing Defra resources for new chalara ash dieback research.
Initial research was prioritised against the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Action Plan launched in October 2011. The programme of both applied and strategic research will be informed further by the outputs from the Independent Expert Taskforce of Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity and reflected in Defra’s Evidence Plan1 for this area.