Fifty-strong professional gardener network trained to detect ash dieback and other key plant threats

More than 50 professional gardeners and foresters have been trained in detecting and managing pests and diseases which are threatening gardens, woodlands and the countryside, says FERA.

They will now act as training contacts within their own organisations, and could form part of a wider network being developed in response to the current outbreak of Chalara dieback of ash trees.

The representatives from the botanic and heritage gardens and public parks sectors completed training on plant and tree diseases and best practice in plant health and biosecurity.

FERA plant health head public engagement Dr David Slawson said:

"Our trees in particular are facing an unprecedented threat from pests and diseases, and it is vital that everybody, Government agencies and key non-Government organisations, work together to combat the threat. Government cannot do this alone, and it is vital that we develop expertise in other organisations to help.

He added: "A priority now is to investigate whether these new trainees can form part of this wider network and act as the nation's early warning system for new threats."

Workshops were held at the National Trust's Erddig garden near Wrexham, RHS gardens at Wisley and Harlow Carr and The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

National Trust lead on Plant Health Ian Wright said: "Our gardens and woodlands have suffered attacks from a number of pests and diseases, and we have responded by making plant health a priority across the Trust. These workshops have created a new core group of knowledgeable staff who will embed best practice principles across the Trust's estate."

RHS chief scientist Dr John David added: "Sadly, new pests and diseases can enter our gardens on imported plants, and escape into the countryside. For this reason, the country's gardeners have a major role to play in combating the spread of plant pests and diseases."

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

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Battery chainsaws offer many advantages while innovative technology shelps the latest petrol models meet emissions standards, writes Sally Drury.

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

How do the latest battery models shape up against new petrol chainsaws when tested at Bridgwater College? Sally Drury reports.

Business planning: The labour challenge

Business planning: The labour challenge

With staffing becoming increasingly problematic, Neville Stein looks at the alternatives to finding good recruits.

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

Horticulture Week Custodian Awards

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources