Burner solution for infected sites

A company that pioneered a treatment for blitzing the troublesome Phytophthora blight is promoting its machine to local authorities.

Thermoweed says its mobile LPG burner is much quicker than conventional treatments, which include teams chopping, collecting and burning infected plants.

Managing director Richard Pearson was approached by Staffordshire County Council after bilberry plants on Cannock Chase became infected. He said: "Our method involves one man controlling the tractor-mounted burner. We see it being used not only for killing disease-infected stock but for sanitising the surface area after infected plant or tree clearance."

Environment and countryside head Steve Potter said nesting and breeding seasons limited its use, but burning could be a twice-yearly job - "we have great hopes for it".

The kit costs around £8,000.

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