Final Report and Policy Document

Development of an online, user friendly plant health resource bank for the Scottish Natural Environment

Dothistroma needle blight [Image courtesy of Joanne Taylor]

The aim of the project was to respond to needs voiced by stakeholders working in the natural environment in Scotland for user-friendly plant health advice, which is provided in the form of a website which is accessible to non-specialists. The project has delivered several of the key Goals of the PHC. Engagement with the stakeholders at the beginning and end of this process demonstrates commitment to this site being stakeholder-led, giving ownership and promoting uptake (Goal 6). As a result of increased accessibility to relevant information, it is anticipated there will be improved surveillance and detection (Goal 1) as stakeholders will be more equipped to diagnose plant health issues and take the necessary steps to implement management advice (Goal 2). This cohort of land managers can be utilised as a resource to flag emerging plant health issues and provide feedback which can inform horizon scanning efforts (Goal 3). Finally, information provided to the Plant Health Centre by stakeholders will add to a body of accumulated scientific evidence to improve efforts to respond and mitigate threats from pests and diseases (Goal 4).

A further outcome aimed to promote the webpages is the publication of a guidance paper in a special issue on global challenges in plant health of the journal Sibbaldia, subscribers of which include many of our stakeholders. This will be published late in 2019 or early 2020.