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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Plant Health Centre PCN project at the RISS PCN stakeholder event

Kim Davey and Jon Pickup present an update of their work from the Centre's PCN project (see under projects) at the stakeholder PCN meeting in Angus on 6th November 2019.

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Oak Processionary Moth larvae on Oak - Image courtesy of Forest Research

Threat: Oak Processionary Moth

Status, Scottish specific issues, Plant Health Centre perspective and Key priorities and recommendations concerning the threat from Oak Processionary Moth to Scotland.


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Our Highlighted Event

7 Feb 2020, 7pm - 9pm

Soutar Lecture Theatre, AK Bell Library, Perth PH2 8EP

Ian Toth will present a public lecture on Pests, Pathogens and Food Security at the Curious Minds event organised by the Perthshire Society of Natural Science and Culture Perth and Kinross at the Soutar Lecture Theatre, AK Bell Library, Perth PH2 8EP.