• Plant Health Centre

     

    To mark UK Plant Health Week (part of the UN’s International Year of Plant Health), we launched a set of 5 Key Principles, which outline important steps to protect Scotland’s plant resources.  We put together an information booklet that details these principles and our Directorate filmed a conversation to introduce the principles and furnish them with examples.  During the UK Plant Health Week we also brought these principles to life through a series of blogs or short YouTube videos, each highlighting the importance of plant health to some of Scotland’s iconic plant-based assets.

Sectors

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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New UK-wide measures against Xylella

On Thursday 11th February 2021, with the agreement of the Devolved Administrations, Defra introduced UK-wide legislation which implements new measures for Xylella. These measures will come into force on 4th March 2021

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Tractor Spraying

PHC2020/09: Economic Impact of Pesticide Withdrawals to Scotland, with Case Studies

Chemical forms of plant protection are widely used in Scottish agricultural, horticultural and forestry production plus for amenity and natural environment management purposes.  The availability and use of active substances in pesticides are closely regulated and increasing concern over human health and environmental impacts has led to a greater likelihood that some existing approvals will be withdrawn and/or that approvals for new products will not be granted.  Potential impacts from withdrawal of these pesticides are of policy interest and this summary report builds on the data and results from project PHC2020/15 (Potential impacts arising from pesticide withdrawals to Scotland’s plant health) and uses case studies to understand the likely magnitude and distribution of potential impacts and how they may be mitigated. 

 

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