Plants and Trees Need Protection


In National Plant Health Week the Welsh Government has been reminding people what they can do to protect plants and trees in Wales from pests and diseases. It says plants and trees are vital, producing the oxygen we breathe, acting as carbon sinks and providing us with food to eat.

A new report into public attitudes towards plant health and Invasive non-native species, which surveyed 1,000 people in Wales, shows most respondents said protecting plants and trees was important to them. However, only 23% actively sought out information about pests and diseases.

Only 54% of those surveyed recognised personal imports of plants from abroad are a high risk to Wales’ own plants and trees.

As set out in the GB Plant Biosecurity strategy published in January, the Welsh Government has taken action to protect plants and trees by establishing surveillance networks across Wales looking for plant and tree pests and diseases, as early discovery gives the best chance to tackle them.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said National Plant Health Week provided “a great opportunity for us all to consider how we can act to protect our plants and trees from pests and diseases.

“There are some simple ways of doing this such as not bringing back plants and seeds from holidays abroad. It’s also important to make sure we all try to follow biosecurity measures like cleaning our boots after a walk in the woods.

“It is important to report any pests or diseases spotted on plants and trees in gardens or while out, and this can be done through Tree Alert or the UK Plant Health Portal.

“Plants and trees are important, but we know they are at risk. We all have a role to play in helping ensure we protect them.”

Nigel Summerley

Nigel Summerley retired from The Oldie magazine to return to freelance journalism. He previously held executive staff jobs at the London Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express before freelancing for 20 years for newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Guardian and the ‘i’ paper, plus a wide range of magazines. He continues to write about music, travel and health, and blogs at

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