International Year of Plant Health

Globally, the damage done to plants by invasive alien species harms crops, forests and the natural resources on which the world depends. The worldwide cost from lost crops, trade revenue and eradication programmes, runs into the billions annually. Pests and diseases are most often spread to new areas by people, through trade and travel. Scotland’s plants are under constant threat from new introductions of pests and diseases that could cause substantial losses to our natural environments, cropping systems, forests and horticultural trade.

Two years ago, the UN Generally Assembly declared that 2020 would be the International Year of Plant Health. This presents a tremendous opportunity to raise the global awareness of the importance of plant health, encouraging environmental protection and food security.

Throughout the International Year of Plant Health 2020, the Plant Health Centre will collaborate with the Scottish Government, other stakeholders and the UK Plant Health Authorities to:

  • Highlight the importance of Scotland’s plant health to our Natural Environment, Agriculture, Forestry and Horticulture sectors.
  • Increase awareness of the threat from plant pests and diseases from trade and travel.
  • Promote personal plant biosecurity, raising awareness and willingness to apply good biosecurity practice.
  • Increase the visibility of the actions and precautions that Scottish stakeholders take to protect Scotland’s plants.

In Scotland, we will be promoting plant health and biosecurity at a series of events and activities, to raise their profile during the IYPH.

Calendar of Events


Beechgrove Garden interview (with Scot Gov), TBC

Start of all year RBGE exhibition (with Scot Gov) – Edinburgh, 23rd

Farm Advisory Service / AHDB Winter workshop - Perth, Carfraemill, Inverurie (Fiona Burnett participating), 14/16/21/24th

UK Plant Health Service Conference – Sand Hutton, York (Ian Toth participating), 27/28th

BIFOR Annual conference including Action Oak session – Birmingham (Chris Quine participating), 29th

PHC SART workshop “Improving sector practices to prevent pathogen spread: A multi-disciplinary approach” – Roslin (PHC-run workshop promoting inter-sectoral and inter-institutional engagement) Invitation only, 31st


Amenity Forum (with Scot Gov) – Edinburgh, 4th

Celebration of Barley – Dunkeld (SEFARI funded, Fiona Burnett participating), 5/6th

“Curious Minds - Perthshire Society of Natural Sciences” – Perth (Public presentation from Director of PHC on pests, pathogens and food security), 7th

PHC presentation to Scottish AICC – Brechin (Fiona Burnett presenting), 13th

Future Proofing Plant Health Knowledge Exchange workshop, organised by Defra – York (Chris Quine participating), 13th

Industry Potato Workshop – Birnam (Director presentation on PHC), 20th

Presentations at Crop Production in Northern Britain (with Scot Gov) – Dundee, Apex, 25/26th

Future Proofing Plant Health Oak Health workshop – Alton (Chris Quine attending) Invitation only, 27th


UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey Stakeholder meeting – TBC (Fiona Burnett participating), 4th

Strathearn Festival of Science (with Scot Gov) – Strathearn, TBC (week 1)

Scotland’s Plant Health Conference 2020 – Novotel, Edinburgh Park (Organised jointly between the PHC and Scot Gov) – 12th


Bug hunt tour starts (with Scot Gov) – multiple locations, TBC (week 1)

Edinburgh Science festival (with Scot Gov) – Edinburgh, TBC (week 2)

Parliamentary reception (with Scot Gov) – Edinburgh, TBC (week 3)

RSB IYPH conference (with Scot Gov) – location and date TBC (week 3)

“Our Plants; Our Future” - Royal Society, London (Joint presentation by PHC Director and CPHOS on plant biosecurity), 20th


Fife Science Festival (with Scot Gov) - location and date TBC (week 3)

Gardening Scotland (with Scot Gov) – TBC (week 4)


Open Farm Sunday (James Hutton Institute) – location and date TBC

Glasgow Science Festival (with Scot Gov) – Glasgow, TBC (week 1)

FAS SRUC Cereal open trial event – East Lothian (Fiona Burnett participating), TBC

Action Oak Partners Event – Kew (Chris Quine attending) Invitation only - 16th

Royal Highland Show (with Scot Gov) – Ingliston, 18-21st


Conference - Treescapes2020: Bringing the future of trees, woodlands and forests into focus – Birmingham (Chris Quine: keynote speaker), 1/2nd

Arable Scotland with FAS, AHDB and James Hutton Institute – Dundee, 2nd

Fruit for the Future (James Hutton Institute) – Dundee, 16th

FAS SRUC Cereal open trial event – Lanark (Fiona Burnett participating), TBC


Potatoes in Practice (James Hutton Institute) – Dundee, TBC


Dundee Flower and Food Festival (with Scot Gov) – Dundee, 4-6th

Doors open day at SASA (with Scot Gov) – Edinburgh, TBC (week 4)


Bug Hunt Tour ends (with Scot Gov) – TBC, TBC (week 1)

Dundee Science Festival (with Scot Gov) – Dundee, TBC (week 2)