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The Scottish Plant Health Strategy

Scottish Plant Health Strategy

Dr Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, launched the Scottish Plant Health Strategy on 6 March 2016.

The Strategy sets out the Scottish Government's approach to the protection of the health of plants (agricultural and horticultural crops, plants in parks and gardens, forestry and the natural environment) in Scotland.

The aim of the Strategy is to:

  • demonstrate the importance of safeguarding Scottish plant health to protect and enhance Scotland's economy and natural environment
  • indicate how Scotland will take forward the Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain
  • ensure SG and stakeholders work together to protect plant health in Scotland.

Development of the Scottish Plant Health Strategy was announced at the first Plant Health Workshop in March 2014.  Since then, work has been ongoing to produce a high level document which sets out a vision for plant health in Scotland, as well as a set of key actions by which we will understand, protect and value our natural environment.

Co-operation with stakeholders was an essential element of the Strategy and there were opportunities for engagement throughout its development; meetings were held with Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Science Advisors, the Invasive Non-Native Species team and other parts of the UK Plant Health Service to agree objectives and the Scottish Plant Health Workshops provided a platform for wider stakeholder discussions.

The Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain provides the overarching framework for the Scottish Plant Health Strategy.


There are a number of key actions in the Strategy, including stakeholder enagement, contingency planning and research commissioning.  Listed below are some of the implementation activities that have taken place so far. 

  • Plant Health Forum for the Horticulture Trade
  • Appointment of a Scottish Chief Plant Health Officer: Dr Gerry Saddler has been appointed the Chief Plant Health Officer for Scotland
  • Commission of the Centre of Expertise for Plant Health