Public Engagement in Plant Health


The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs published the  Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain (2023) to set out a new vision for plant health:

“To protect Great Britain’s plants through a strong partnership of government, industry, and the public, working together to reduce and manage risks posed by plant pests and pathogens, and facilitate safe trade.”

One of the key outcomes within the strategy is to create a society the values healthy plants. We aim to this by raising awareness of the importance of healthy plants and trees and encouraging the adoption of responsible behaviours across society.

This is because everyone in the UK has a vital role to play in protecting the health of our plants and trees. Increased public awareness about actions that can protect plant health have a demonstrable effect on preventing introductions and halting the spread of pests and diseases.This can include people taking extra care when buying plants, complying with regulations when bringing plants or plant products back from abroad, or washing their shoes after visiting a woodland so as not to risk spreading disease further.

We want to create a society that values healthy plants and trees, understands that these values are threatened, makes positive choices, and takes action to safeguard those values.

To do we want to ensure that everyone:

  • recognises the value that healthy plants have in their everyday lives
  • understands that these values are under threat
  • is clear about the links between their actions and choices and the risks to the environment, and is empowered to adopt positive behaviour change
  • understands their responsibility to act
  • feels part of a national biosecurity culture where individuals know their role and where risky behaviours are considered socially unacceptable

Over the last 10 years we have undertaken a range of activities to support this work, which includes education, training, and citizen science work. In addition we have run numerous campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of plant health and biosecurity. These have been targeted at the general public and other key audiences.


By protecting plant health, we protect the benefits plants provide to all of us, to wildlife, the environment and our economy.

Discover why plants are so important