PREPSYS workshop

PREPSYS project workshop

The PREPSYS project was funded through the international EUPHRESCO network, and the project partners were: Forest Research (UK, lead partner), NRC (National Reference Centre, Netherlands), BFW (Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape, Austria), USDA (United States Department of Agriculture, USA) and Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland).

The main objective of the project is to provide evidence to underpin contingency planning, policy development and policy communication through assessing the entry, establishment, spread, impact and management of the emerald ash borer (EAB) and bronze birch borer (BBB). The emphasis is on reducing the likelihood of their entry and establishment but also in a worst case scenario, to provide evidence on how to cope should the pests succeed in establishing populations in Europe and the UK.

At the workshop, presentations were given by Hugh Evans (ASDA), David Williams (Forest Research) about PREPSYS, as well as from Vincent Keenan (a PHC postdoctoral researcher based at Strathclyde University) who has been conducting a review of modelling literature dealing with boring beetles.

The ten priorities for EAB identified by PREPSYS were:

  • To monitor the spread of EAB in Eastern Europe
  • To determine pathways of entry into, and spread within, the UK
  • To determine the distribution and function of ash in the UK environment
  • To have a Plant Health Service wide approach to resource planning and sharing
  • To use sensitive detection methods at high risk sites
  • To update the contingency plan with scenarios and new information
  • To develop an incident communication plan
  • To continue in national and international collaborations
  • To gain approval for tree injection (emamectin benzoate and azadirachtin)
  • To gain approval for non-native natural enemies

Discussions followed the presentations with regards to the threat of EAB and BBB from a Scottish perspective, including knowledge gaps.


Image credit: Forest Research