In the Plant Health Centre’s inaugural year, a resource gap was identified by stakeholders from the Natural Environment sector; there was no central location for information on plant health threats to the Natural Environment in Scotland. To address this, the PHC commissioned Joanne Taylor and myself (both from RBGE) to create an online ‘Knowledge Bank’ to fill this resource gap (PHC2018/11). This Knowledge Bank has been live since May 2019, and has created a ‘one-stop-shop’ that provides practical information and action recommendations on plant health in the Natural Environment, receiving over 600 page views to date.
Following on from the success of this resource, the PHC recognised that for the remaining three sectors (Forestry, Agriculture and Horticulture) information on plant health was widely available, but that the quality and relevance to Scotland was often not clear. Therefore, in 2019, Joanne and I were again commissioned by the PHC (PHC2019/07) to expand this online Knowledge Bank to the Agriculture, Horticulture, and Forestry sectors, to signpost users and practitioners to relevant and reliable information, and to address a broad spectrum of plant health topics from diagnostics and control to outreach and education. We compiled and evaluated information sources for each of these three sectors, and compiled them into sections of the Knowledge Bank to each sector, all of which are now online on the PHC website. Together with the original Natural Environment knowledge bank, these make up a comprehensive and unique signposting resource for plant health information with relevance to Scotland:
Resources include 150 unique, reliable sources drawn from governmental, non-governmental/charitable (NGO and private sectors, as well as other knowledge networks such as news media and research extension hubs). While each section of the Knowledge Bank was tailored to a sector, common information sources were shared between them. The Knowledge Bank represents a direct response to stakeholders’ priorities: a source for reliable plant health information. It also offers a structure that can be populated with new information from the PHC, and within and across sectors, as it becomes available.
As part of the industry event “Arable Scotland” (2nd July 2020), I created a short screencast on how to use the knowledge bank, with the Agriculture sector as an example. Please take a look at this video if you would like a personal guided tour of this resource!
-Katy Hayden, RBGE