Gardeners being warned not to plant or compost any unsolicited seed packages received through post

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) reports that people are receiving unsolicited seed packages through the post that are thought to be part of an e-commerce scam. These seeds could pose a significant risk to the environment. If you receive any unsolicited seed packages through the post, please do not plant of compost them as it could result in the spread of an invasive, non-native species or introduce pests and pathogens. 

New Plant Health Measures in force from 26th June 2020

Today new strengthened measures to assist the fight against Agrilus planipennis (Emerald ash borer) and Candidatus Phytoplasma Ulmi (Elm yellows) will be introduced into Scotland. This means any imports directly into Scotland, of certain hosts of these pests, will need to meet the criteria set out in The Plant Health (Official Controls and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 – Schedule

Failure to comply with these regulations will mean the stock will either be destroyed or sent back at your expense.

Social Distancing Advice for Horticulture, Fruit & Vegetable Industry Sector

Scottish Government have issued social distancing guidance for the Horticulture, Fruit and Vegetable Industry Sector to support stakeholders develop safe working practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Xylella could cost billions

Researchers have estimated the cost of Xylella fastidiosa to over €20 billion and the UK restricts olive tree imports.

New Scottish measures to fight Xyllela and other plant health threats

In response to the continuous plant health threats from Xylella fastidiosa, in consultation with stakeholders and the Plant Health Authorities in England, changes will be made from 21 April 2020 (Defra) and 27 June 2020 (Scotland) to strengthen measures against Xylella, emerald ash borer, canker stain of plane and elm yellows. Read on ...

The Plant Health Centre during COVID-19

While the lockdown is forcing everyone to stay at home, members of the Plant Health Centre and our project partners are doing our best to carry on regardless. We have been focussing on our desk-based work and communicating through various video conferencing programmes (see image). Please visit the Centre's web pages regularly to stay in touch with what's been happening, and if you have any questions don't forget you can write to us at:


In these very uncertain times for the horticulture industry, when millions of garden plants are set to be destroyed due to the closure of garden centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Horticulture Trade Association (HTA) and partners have produced a web site listing on-line plant suppliers for consumers to get the plants they need.
The website called ‘Plants Near Me’ is available at

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

While there is no evidence yet of its presence, our latest project on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has been investigating the chances of it arriving in Scotland and causing problems on soft fruit. We have undertaken surveys and evaluated the impacts of climate change and polytunnel use on the insects potential survival in Scotland.
It's important to be aware of the potential damage these insects might cause when you consider the latest news from Turkey where the hazelnut industry is bracing itself for up to 30% due to the BMSB. For a country that produces over 70% of the world's hazelnuts, that's a big impact. Read more.....

Our Plants - Our Future - CANCELLED

Supported by DEFRA and attended by the Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Gideon Henderson, Our Plants Our Future will be opened by Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Defra Minister for biosecurity. Speakers include: Sarah Gurr from the University of Exeter, Nick Talbot and Jonathan Jones from the Sainsbury Laboratory, Trevor Nicholls and Dick Shaw from CABI, Baldiserra Giovanni from EPPO and Saskia Hogenhout and Alessandra de Souza representing the BRIGIT project.

Summary of Scotland's Plant Health Conference 2020

Another successful year for Scotland's Plant Health Conference, which took place just before the COVID-19 lockdown took place. We are very pleased that so many delegates attended in increasingly difficult circumstances. One of our attendees, Chris Delf - CHAP (Crop Health and Protection) Business Development Manager, wrote a summary of the event.....