The quest for advances in biosecurity: people, tools, equipment and machinery

Author: Matt Elliot (RBGE)

Awareness of the risks posed by plant pests and diseases has increased significantly in recent years, as have some aspects of biosecurity. However, many gaps remain in our knowledge as we try to protect the environment and businesses from the impact of plant pests and diseases.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are leading a project, funded by PHC, to understand two aspects of biosecurity where evidence is lacking:

  • How do we manage the biosecurity risk posed by people (visitors, volunteers, contractors and staff) entering and working in parks, gardens, forests, farms and the natural environment?
  • How do we manage the biosecurity risk posed by the use and movement of tools, equipment and machinery which may be shared between sites?

To answer these questions, the project team are looking for examples of where biosecurity has been deployed to address these risks, both in Scotland and internationally, to see what lessons can be learned. In addition, they will look to other sectors, e.g., animal health, invasive species management, etc. to if insights can be gained and applied to plant health.

You can help in this endeavour! The team have created an online questionnaire to gather evidence on how land managers manage the risks outlined above. They would be very grateful if you could spare 15 minutes to provide your biosecurity experiences. The questionnaire can be found at the link below and closes on the 13th May 2022. Many thanks in advance for your time.

Plant biosecurity, people, tools and machinery - survey