Future Proofing Plant Health

The Future Proofing Plant Health project aims to provide evidence to help implement the GB Plant Biosecurity Strategy and will focus on strategic areas related to new and emerging pests and diseases (prevention, detection, control, resilience), as well as identifying priority pests, diseases and pathways.

Research objectives

  • Build and apply capability and ensure effective coordination, quality, delivery and impact through robust project management.
  • Risk assessment, risk management, contingency planning and policy for priority pests, pathways and commodities highlighted by the Plant Health Risk Register and by the Defra Tree Health Management Plan.
  • ‘Pre-Border Activities’ that improve approaches to horizon scanning for new and emerging threats, risk identification, risk assessment, risk management, risk understanding, uncertainty and communication, and developing a culture of biosecurity.
  • Earlier detection of pests through the identification, development and deployment of efficient, cost-effective and adoptable detection strategies, tools and methods.
  • Prepare for, prioritise, govern and manage new introductions and outbreaks, including approaches and methods for eradication, containment and control, as well as adaptation to pests once they have become endemic.
  • Inform our understanding of resilience and guide the design and management of economically, socially and environmentally resilient systems and resources.


Phase 1 ran from November 2014 to April 2015. Phase 2 commenced in April 2015 and is expected to last five years.


Prof. Chris Quine

Funders and partners

Project partners are Forest Research, Fera, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Natural England and JNCC. This project is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).