Due to an epidemic of Phytophthora ramorum virus being observed in the Resolven and Rhondda forest, a motor rally has been postponed wherein the planned route passes through the forest.
The disease, known as “sudden oak death”, causes numerous deaths in the region every year, spreading through the needles of the tree as well as the root soil, which jumps over the vehicles passing by the road.
The state government has proclaimed a fund worth £600k to be provided for the treatment of those suffering from the disease. The rally had been scheduled to commence from Swansea Museum, with the motorists returning back to the Museum itself on 17 July.
The infection has been observed in the larch trees in Japan’s woodland supervised by Forestry Commission Wales in the Afan Valley near Port Talbot, in Garw Valley near Bridgend, and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The rally is conducted in the region every year since last four decades under the MSA National Gravel Rally Championship.
This year, as many as 80 semi-professional and club drivers were expected to participate.
“We are treating the outbreak of Phytophthora ramorum in south Wales very seriously”, said Forestry Commission Wales District Forest Manager, Dai Jones.