About Us


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The Plant Health Centre is a virtual centre of expertise funded by Scottish Government through RESAS (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division) to help tackle plant health challenges for Scotland.

Working with the Chief Plant Health Officer for Scotland, Professor Gerry Saddler from Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), the Centre brings the plant sectors for forestry, horticulture, environment and agriculture together to co-ordinate plant health knowledge, skills, needs and activities across Scotland. We work with Scottish Government, public bodies and stakeholders to provide scientific evidence to help them make important decisions about pests and pathogens that threaten Scotland the most. The Centre Directorate is headed up by the James Hutton Institute, and has sector leads from Scotland’s Rural College (agriculture), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (horticulture and environment) and Forest Research (forestry).

RESAS has recommissioned the Plant Health Centre until 2026. In this new iteration it has recruited Impact Officers at each of the sector lead institutions. The impact officers will ensure day-to-day dialogue and the building of relationships with stakeholders to increase the visibility of plant health threats and solutions. They will feed stakeholder plant health needs into the Centre’s Directorate to address these through project commissioning.

A Steering Group oversees the functioning and governance of the Centre.

To see a schematic of the Centre structure click here

Find out more about our members below.

Our Aims

Improve resilience to plant health threats in Scotland by connecting science to application to inform policy, planning, responses and solutions

The Key objectives for the PHC at present are:

  1. Strengthening resilience and emergency response plans, and contributing to improved surveillance and detection.
  2. Providing scientific evidence to support policy decisions and outbreak management by the Chief Plant Health Officer Scotland
  3. Improving Rural Industry resilience in Scotland by helping to mitigate plant health risks through horizon scanning, trade risk assessments, business resilience and knowledge exchange
  4. Enhancing Scotland’s capacity and capability to respond to threats and assemble scientific evidence by leveraging non-Scottish Govt funded expertise, facilities and data.
  5. Contributing to an expansion of interdisciplinary networks to improve capacity to respond to threats across all plant health sectors.
  6. Engaging effectively with stakeholders of the PHC, providing evidence to meet their needs and encourage uptake of findings.


Meet the Plant Health Centre Team



Centre Director
The James Hutton Institute
Sector Lead: Forestry
Forest Research
Sector Lead: Agriculture
Scotland’s Rural College
Sector Lead: Horticulture and Environment
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Centre Manager
The James Hutton Institute
Centre Facilitator
The James Hutton Institute

Impact Officers

Impact Officer: Horticulture and the Natural Environment
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Impact Officer: Agriculture
Scotland’s Rural College
Impact Officer: Forestry
Forest Research

Steering Group

Chief Plant Health Officer for Scotland; Head of SASA
Executive Director of Agrico UK Ltd; Chairman of the Food and Drink Federation of Scotland; Agriculture Champion for Scottish Government
National Manager for Scotland
Confederation of Forest Industries
Land Use Policy and Advice Manager
Freelance Consultant, Scheme Manager for the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme
Head of Tree Health
Scottish Forestry
Plant Health Policy
Scottish Government
Head of Plant Health, Inspections and Rural Engagement / Deputy Chief Plant Health Officer for Scotland
Senior Agronomist
Angus Growers
Plantlife Scotland
Field and Procurement Director
Kettle Produce Ltd
Principal Science Adviser
Scottish Government