RHS Harlow Carr becomes first garden in England to be certified as Plant Healthy
The Yorkshire garden has been recognised for its work to stop spreading plant disease and invasive species
RHS Harlow Carr in Yorkshire has become the first public garden in England to be certified as Plant Healthy under Defra’s ambitious new Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain.
The certification is the latest move made by the RHS in its bid to become biosecurity neutral by 2025.
In order to be recognised as Plant Healthy, records, processes and infrastructures at the garden were reviewed. The garden was congratulated on its commitment to plant biosecurity, its comprehensive written procedures and plant health training.
The next phase of the garden’s work in biosecurity will be in communicating the importance of biosecurity measures to the public.
Harlow Carr’s work has helped to safeguard against the spread of global diseases such as Xylella fastidiosa, which has not yet reached the UK but has significantly impacted the horticultural industry.
Alistair Yeomans, scheme manager for the plant healthy certification scheme, said: “We’re delighted to recognise the RHS’ huge efforts to ensure RHS Garden Harlow Carr is Plant Healthy. The work has involved experimentation with new approaches and the support of teams from across the organisation. We hope their work acts as a blueprint to assist others in the horticultural industry.”
Protecting plant health has a wide range of benefits to the environment, biodiversity, the economy and food security but threats are increasing as climate change and globalisation facilitate the spread of plant problems.
The UK Plant Health Alliance’s Plant Healthy certification scheme, provides biosecurity certification to nurseries, businesses and charities operating in the horticultural sector.