Edinburgh Botanics retains Plant Healthy certification
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) has retained its Plant Healthy accreditation, a year after it set new standards by becoming the first UK public garden to be part of the horticultural assurance scheme.
At a time when the impact of pests and pathogens has never been greater on British landscapes, members of Plant Healthy are paving the way for improvement of biosecurity practices throughout the horticulture sector by setting the standards for clearer checks and procedures around the movement of plants - and any bugs they might potentially be carrying.
Following a rigorous audit process, David Knott, Curator of the Living Collections at RBGE, said that while it was reassuring to receive the confirmation that the botanic garden was doing all it could to help safeguard what is happening on its own four sites, and the wider countryside, there was no room for complacency:
“Plant pests and pathogens are significant threats to RBGE’s conservation mission. It is, therefore, critical that we are familiar with all the risks associated with every aspect of plant management and also the biosecurity processes we can use to help reduce these risks.
“A key way of undertaking this has been through the Plant Healthy certification scheme, a plant health management standard which helps organisations reduce the risk of introducing and spreading destructive plant pests. Being a part of Plant Healthy helps protect the horticulture industry, cultivated plants and natural habitats and easily identifies organisations that grow, trade and manage plants to high standards of plant health and biosecurity.
“While we are very pleased to have successfully completed this, our second audit, we are also mindful that we have much work to undertake over the next years to demonstrate the continuing improvement in biosecurity processes that is required as being part of the Plant Healthy scheme.”
Instigated by the Plant Health Alliance, the Plant Healthy scheme sets out to audit every facet of business operations, from plants bought-in and collected from their natural habitats to pallets and packing materials, tools, equipment and the basic hygiene of garden practices.
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