Disease control 'may put gardens at risk'

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) says government measures in place to control Phytophthora ramorum and P. kernoviae are putting important gardens at risk.

In a response to the Scottish Government's consultation on the future management of the diseases, the NTS said treating individual outbreaks as "hot spots" in isolation could lead to the loss of historic plant collections.

Currently, a 2m buffer zone has to be cleared around infected plants within 30 days and all debris has to be burned.

The diseases have infected four NTS gardens in western Scotland. P. ramorum has been found at 43 sites in Scotland and several hundred in England and Wales. P. kernoviae has hit southern England, Cheshire and Wales, and has been in Scotland since January.

The NTS is concerned that historic landscapes and important plants are being lost before heritage impact assessments and propagation can take place.

Head of gardens and designed landscapes services Jan Haenraets said: "Rather than using the present 30-day 'hot spot' approach for each site, a range of measures must be developed that take the scale of the outbreak and site-specific concerns into consideration. There is a real risk that, in the long term, this approach could cause irreversible damage to important historic landscapes. In some cases it does not give gardeners sufficient time to undertake the required measures."

The charity has asked the Scottish Government to compensate nursery businesses and landowners who have to destroy plants. It said more investment in research is needed, along with more inspectors to test for the disease and map its presence across Scotland.

Defra and the Forestry Commission share responsibility for managing Phytophthora in England. The Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly share responsibility with the Forestry Commission in their respective areas.

The Phytophthora Programme Board, which includes Defra, the Forestry Commission and the Scottish and Welsh governments, is responsible for co-ordinating action against the diseases.

The Scottish Government's consultation on future management of the disease closed on 7 October. Defra also conducted a consultation, which closed on 10 October.

Both documents offered two options: one proposing minimal control and the second proposing increased eradication measures. The Scottish approach also listed a third option - a further two years of the current level of containment and eradication activity while more evidence is gathered.

A decision is expected by next spring.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.


Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles