As you walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park, you may see some areas where trees and plants have been cut back. These areas of clear felling are part of efforts to combat Phytophthora, a fungus like organism that causes disease in shrubs like bilberry, rhododendron, viburnum and camellia and trees such as larch, magnolia, beech, and horse chestnut. 

Help us to stop the spread of Phytophthora by following these simple steps:

Please keep to marked paths in woodlands
This helps reduce the chances of picking up contaminated soil and plant debris on footwear.
Pay attention to site notices
Infected areas may be signed or cordoned off.
Clean your footwear
Remove soil and plant debris from your shoes or boots after each visit.
Clean the tires of bikes and vehicles
If you’ve been off road, remove soil and plant debris from your tires.
Don’t take plants or cuttings
Taking plants home risks introducing the infection to your own garden.

How to spot it

Symptoms can vary with the type of plant infected. On shrubs, typical symptoms can include blackening of leaves around the midrib and at the tips, and/or wilting and dieback of shoots. Trees can show black lesions (called cankers) on the bark, which ‘bleed’ a dark sap.
Report any suspected findings of Phytophthora to The Food and Environment Research Agency, by calling 01904 465625 or emailing 
To find out more about Phytophthora, please visit The Food and Environment Research Agency website.