With plentiful rain and long summer day lengths, Scotland produces some of the highest yielding and best quality crops in the world. But conditions that promote good crop growth are often good for pests and pathogens too and in Scotland 15-20% of our crops are lost to pests and diseases annually.
Scotland has a remarkable assemblage of species and habitats with Atlantic, montane, boreal, arctic-alpine, and oceanic habitats in close proximity. However, pests and pathogens represent an increasing threat to these natural assets, and a particular challenge is the sheer complexity of the diversity of the natural environment in terms of the number of species that may be impacted.
The sector represents a major component of Scotland’s rural economy – providing significant employment and raw materials for wood processing industries. Sustainable forest management seeks to deliver these economic benefits alongside important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and flood mitigation, provision of wildlife habitat and opportunities for recreation and a range of leisure activities. Pests and diseases threaten the continued long-term delivery of these benefits.
Scotland is renowned for the quality of its private and public horticultural collections, and its rich cultural history of plant collecting, allotments and gardening. Horticultural plantings are of significant economic value, as well as providing amenity, health and well-being, cultural and conservation resources. However, pest and pathogens represent a major threat to this highly diverse set of plantings.

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Call for ProjectsFurther Info / Submit Project

There are currently two calls for projects


  • Centre project: Monitoring for the Brown Marmorated Sting Bug (BMSB) Halyomorpha halys in Scotland (PHC2019_01) 

  • Undergraduate vacation bursaries


The deadline for applications is 6th May 2019


Latest NewsView All News

The battle to save Scotland's forests from disease

Following another news item this week on the economic impacts of ash dieback, Scottish Forestry's John Douglas describes the battle to defeat another deadly tree disease Phytophthora Ramorum.

"When I first saw the impact this disease was having, it really almost reduced me to tears."

The words of Scottish Forestry's John Dougan as he describes the battle to defeat the deadly tree disease Phytophthora Ramorum.

It has spread throughout Scotland in recent years, leaving thousands of dead and damaged trees in its wake.

If the ongoing fight is lost, it is feared it could be catastrophic for the forestry industry and also hit tourism.

As the busy summer holidays period approaches, members of the public are being urged to take some simple precautions which could help, such as cleaning their boots before leaving.

Latest PublicationView All Publications

Arable field with hay bales

Impact on Scottish crops if the molluscicide metaldehyde is withdrawn

This report sets out estimates for the crop loss and value to Scottish crop production should the molluscicide metaldehyde be withdrawn. This would leave ferric phosphate as the only available chemical control option. Short term losses are negligible as the substitution of ferric phosphate carries no additional treatment costs and has equivalent efficacy. Longer term there is some risk should resistance arise to this single site mode of action active, and ferric phosphate (although of lower mammalian toxicity to metaldehyde) has some environmental impacts of its own.


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Our Next Event

28 May 2019, 9am - 3pm

Scotland's Plant Health Conference will be held in the Edinburgh Suite of the Hilton Double Tree Hotel next to Edinburgh Airport (100 Eastfield Road, EH28 8LL) on 28th May 2019 from 09.30 - 15.30. All stakeholders with an interest in  plant health in Scotland are welcome to register for free before Friday 17th May at Registration is obligatory for seating and catering purposes.  

This is the first time the conference has been held and combines both the Scottish Government's Plant Health Forum and the Plant Health Centre's annual stakeholder event.  

The Conference Programme is available here

Scotland's Plant Health Conference will be held in the Edinburgh Suite of the Hilton Double Tree Hotel next to Edinburgh Airport on 28th May 2019 from 09.30 - 15.30. All stakeholders with an interest in plant health in Scotland are welcome to register for free before Friday 17th May at info@