Watermark Disease

Closed 24 Aug 2014

Opened 4 Jun 2014


Consultation on proposal to abolish the Watermark Disease (Local Authorities) Order 1974 (SI 1974 No. 768)


This is a consultation by the Forestry Commission on the proposed removal of the Watermark Disease (Local Authorities) Order 1974 (as amended). 

This consultation is part of the government’s drive to reduce the red tape that surrounds businesses. The Watermark Disease Order is enforced by councils and therefore comes at a cost to taxpayers to maintain.

As the disease organism is not a quarantine pest and because willow producers are now effectively self-regulating we have concluded that the Order is redundant and should be revoked.  Understanding around the mechanisms behind spread of the disease has increased since 1974 and the Order is not currently enforced by the six Local Authorities it covers.

This is further explained in the Consultation Paper.

Why your views matter

We would like to hear your views on the proposal to revoke the Watermark Disease Order 1974 (as amended) if you are involved in the growing or production of products from willow trees in the following Local Authorities for which the Order pertains: Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Wiltshire

What happens next


The consultation will run from the 4th of June to the 24th of August. A summary of responses will be made to ministers following this consultation.


  • Landowner / manager
  • Local community member
  • Wood processor - including timber and woodfuel production


  • Timber, wood products and woodfuel
  • Wildlife management