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

Project Lead: Mariella Marzano
Host Institution: Forest Research, University of St Andrews, The James Hutton Institute, SRUC, Fera Science Ltd
Project Date: 17 February 2020 to 31 March 2021
Reference Number:
PHC2019/04
Retail horticulture is a large-scale industry in the UK, with ornamental horticulture and landscaping worth an estimated £24.2 billion national GDP in 2017. The industry is characterised by a large volume of individual transactions and the transport of a diverse range of plant materials (with accompanying soil and packaging) to a highly distributed set of final destinations (households). These horticultural sales represent a complex and pervasive vector network, which carries the risk of transportation of pests and pathogens to surrounding parks and gardens, agricultural systems, woodlands, forests and the wider environment. The diversity of the plant material in trade and the multitude of suppliers and recipients creates a major challenge for managing biosecurity. This project will identify decision-makers, their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours relating to plant health, and assess opportunities and barriers to better plant biosecurity and the potential role of a Plant Health Assurance Scheme.

Impact: This project will enable policy to identify and prioritise plant biosecurity vulnerabilities from non-specialist and online horticultural sales.

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

October 2021

Planting for large-scale landscaping and infrastructure can typically involve tens of thousands of individual plants, potentially threatening plant health in Scotland due to the biosecurity risks of imports and widespread planting of infested or diseased plants. This project aimed to understand the extent and means to mitigate against such plant biosecurity risks with a focus on mapping the pathways from plant specification through to planting and establishment and highlight different biosecurity awareness for actors, in decision-making and procurement processes.

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.

Position:
Social and Economic Research Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Forest Pathologist and Programme Manager
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Sustainability Scientist
Institution: University of St Andrews
Position:
Environmental Economist
Institution: Fera Science Ltd
Position:
Social Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Social Scientist
Institution: Forest Research
Position:
Plant Pathologist
Institution: The James Hutton Institute
Position:
Economist
Institution: SRUC
Position:
Paleo-ecologist
Institution: University of St Andrews