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 coverage at Crop Production in Northern Britain

It was great to see such wide coverage of plant health at the Crop Production in Northern Britain (CPNB) conference at the Apex Hotel in Dundee. Nicola Spence (Chief Plant Health Officer for Defra) opened the first day with a joint talk between Gerry Saddler (Scotland's Chief Plant Health Officer) and Ian Toth (the Centre's Director), followed by lots of talks over the next 2 days about PHC-funded projects and related topics.

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PHC 18 month review leaflet

18-Month Review Summary Leaflet

The Plant Health Centre completed an in-depth review of its first 18-months of activity for our funder (the Scottish Government through RESAS) in September 2019. While the full report is not yet available to the public, we have created a summary leaflet that outlines out achievements over this period.


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Our Highlighted Event

12 Mar 2020, 9am - 3pm

Novotel Edinburgh Park, 15 Lochside Avenue, EH12 9DJ

Scotland’s Plant Health Conference, a joint event between the Scottish Government, Scotland’s Plant Health Centre, SNH, HTA and Scottish Forestry, took place on Thursday 12th March 2020 at Novotel Edinburgh Park. Conference presentations are available on our events page.