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June 19, 2018

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British bred and grown Veronica hoping for a win -

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Flower Bus via RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show -

Friday, June 15, 2018

New Etesia fleet for Greenfingers -

Thursday, June 14, 2018

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show to showcase the best of grow your own -

Thursday, June 14, 2018

London’s Limmo Peninsula enhanced by Wildflower Meadow -

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bradstone features in medal winning garden at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show -

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Perennial launches online budgeting tool to help manage finances -

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Battling skin cancer after a decade in landscaping -

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Darlington’s Cocker Beck receives TLC from Husqvarna -

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Makita launch two BL LXT Linetrimmers and Dual-Purpose Grass Shears -

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Record numbers gaining the RHS’s most prestigious qualification -

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Preview: National Plant Show and Nursery Supply Show -

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Brian Herbert on the BALI Leadership in Action Development Course -

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

International call for ideas to re-imagine London’s Grosvenor Square -

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

HTA National Plant Show exhibitors all sign up to responsible sourcing statement -

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Vertical bar metal railings installed at Windy Arbor Primary in Solihull -

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Trees on farms essential to improve environmental protection post Brexit -

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

TOPSOIL attracts prestigious customers for its task-specific products -

Monday, June 11, 2018

All new product line introduced by iGRASS -

Monday, June 11, 2018

INNSA guidance assisting buyers of Japanese knotweed remediation services -

Monday, June 11, 2018

Ecoscape

Holiday makers leave UK vulnerable to plant pests and diseases

holiday

– Survey finds millions of plants could enter the UK in holiday maker baggage, increasing the risk of new pests and diseases
The Royal Horticultural Society, with Defra, is asking holiday makers not to bring back plants from abroad in light of growing threat
– Call comes as RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 6-10 June highlights importance of plant health

Millions of plants could enter the UK in the personal baggage of holidaymaking Britons this year, leading to fears that new pests and diseases – including the ‘game changing’ bacterium Xylella fastidiosa – could find their way into our gardens.

A survey by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), to coincide with the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, reveals that of more than half (57%) of respondents planning to travel abroad in the next 12 months, nearly one in ten (9%) would consider bringing a plant back with them, equivalent to 2.5 million people.

While importing plants in personal baggage is already subject to some restrictions that vary depending on country of travel and plant type, the RHS, along with Defra, is calling on holidaymakers not to bring plants back from abroad and instead purchase them in the UK in light of the growing plant health threat.

Fuchsia gall mite, which causes plant disfigurement and is now rife in the South East, has been attributed to a fuchsia enthusiast illegally importing cuttings of the plant from South America. There are currently more than 1,000 pests and diseases on the plant health risk register while Xylella – a bacterium which is known to affect more than 350 species of plant, including garden favourites such as lavender, hebe and rosemary – has been found in Italy, France and Spain. Nearly a third (31%) of survey respondents is planning to visit one of these three countries in the next 12 months.

When it comes to the existing restrictions in place at borders, respondents said UK customs (68%) should be responsible for making people in the UK travelling abroad aware of these restrictions, followed by the UK government and governmental departments (59%), travel gateways such as airports, ports, coach and train terminals (51%) and travel operators, such as airlines, ferry and train companies etc (50%).

The RHS and BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time will highlight the importance of plant health at this year’s RHS Chatsworth Flower Show (6-10 June) with an interactive feature to equip the UK’s gardeners with the knowledge and expertise needed to plan and maintain a healthy garden.

As announced in the Tree Health Resilience Strategy published by Defra in May, Defra will launch the ‘Don’t Risk It’ campaign this summer to raise awareness of the risks of bringing back cut flowers, fruit, vegetables and plant material from holiday destinations.

Sue Biggs, director general of the Royal Horticultural Society, said: “For many people, wandering the olive groves of Italy and lavender fields of France are as much a part of the holiday experience as the cities and beaches. But we’re asking people to leave these beautiful plants where they are for future visitors to enjoy and not to bring them back home with them. This is vital if we are going to win the fight to protect our gardens against the growing threat of pests and diseases.”

Defra chief plant health officer, Nicola Spence said: “We’ve invested more than £4.5million to strengthen our border biosecurity, recruiting new plant inspectors and enhancing training. Our inspectors now make more interceptions of harmful organisms than any other EU member state. But we can’t eliminate all risks and we all have a part to play in protecting our plants and trees. Through our ‘Don’t Risk It’ campaign we’ll be asking everyone to enjoy the exotic plants and flowers they see on their holidays – but only bring them back to the UK in their memories and pictures.’’

For more information about pests and diseases and what can be done to strengthen the UK’s biosecurity visit www.rhs.org.uk.

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