Assessment of large-scale plant biosecurity risks to Scotland from large scale plantings for landscaping and infra-structure projects

Project Lead: Mariella Marzano
Host Institution: Forest Research, The James Hutton Institute, Fera Science Ltd, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, St. Andrews Botanic Gardens
Project Date: 17 February 2020 to 31 March 2021
Reference Number:
PHC2019/05
Large scale infra-structure projects such as transport networks and major housing projects typically include extensive landscaping and planting programmes. These operate at a large scale, often require instant visual impacts (semi-mature shrubs and trees) and face significant cost pressures. The modest scale of domestic production creates challenges in obtaining material from local sources, which can favour low-cost large-scale plant imports with associated risks of pest and disease entry. This project will fill in key knowledge gaps with those responsible for selecting, procuring and planting plants and trees on a large-scale to provide an understanding of how/whether biosecurity features in their decision-making and make recommendations for any changes required to improve bio-secure practices.

Impact: Provide Scottish Government policy with an assessment of the major biosecurity pitfalls and opportunities arising from large-scale landscaping plantings.

Assessment of large-scale plant biosecurity risks to Scotland from large scale tree plantings for environmental benefits

October 2021

This report features five case studies from across Scotland and examines risks associated with large scale tree planting schemes, levels of awareness around pests and diseases, and how the decisions and actions of those involved can serve to reduce or exacerbate pest and disease related threats and long-term tree health. Each case study was unique in respect to their combination of location, site conditions, ownership, management objectives, species choice, supply chains and management activities. By highlighting best practice and lessons learned, it was hoped to ensure that future planting schemes can be successful and, importantly, reduce the likelihood of pests and diseases being introduced and spread into the wider environment.

Assessment of large-scale plant biosecurity risks to Scotland from non-specialist and online horticultural sales

October 2021

This project focused on an initial exploration of tree and plant biosecurity risks to Scotland arising from large-scale movement of plants via non-specialist (those for which plants are not their primary product type, e.g., supermarkets, DIY and lifestyle stores) and online plant retailers. By better understanding the characteristics of these retailer types, the plant health behaviours they undertake, and the challenges they face, potential avenues were offered for greater engagement and collaboration on biosecurity with this important, but understudied and hard to reach sector.

Position:
Social and Economic Research Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Social Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Forest Pathologist and Programme Manager
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Forest Pathologist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Plant Pathologist
Institution: The James Hutton Institute
Position:
Environmental Economist
Institution: Fera Science Ltd
Position:
Landscape Architect
Institution: St. Andrews Botanic Gardens
Position:
Ecological and Plant Disease Modeller
Institution: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Position:
Ecological and Plant Disease Modeller
Institution: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology