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Don’t risk it: Invasive plant risk information from Defra

Protecting our country from pests and diseases is vital to safeguard our environment, economy and health and the Government as invested more than £4.5 million to strengthen our border security, recruiting new plant inspectors and enhancing training. 

Don't bring plants into the UK

However, the public need to be aware of the risks and it is crucial that we all practice safe biosecurity measures; when travelling, don’t bring back plants, seeds, vegetables or flowers as these could harbour disease that could devastate UK landscapes and wildlife.

A report from the RHS indicates that 9% of holidaymakers would consider bringing plants, seeds, bulbs, tubers or cuttings from abroad.

Don't bring plants into the UK

Please don't bring plants, flowers fruit or vegetables back into the UK. They can carry pests and diseases that would destroy UK plants and crops. For more information see the Plant Health Portal.

Who to contact

Do you have a recently imported plant which looks like it might have an issue? For any suspected outbreaks of any non-native plant pest should be reported to the relevant authority as follows:

For England and Wales, contact your local APHA Plant Health and Seeds Inspector or the PHSI Headquarters, Sand Hutton, York:Tel: 01904 405138 / Email: planthealth.info@apha.gov.uk.

For Scotland, contact the Scottish Government’s Horticulture and Marketing Unit:Email: hort.marketing@gov.scot.

For Northern Ireland, contact the DAERA Plant Health Inspection Branch:Tel: 0300 200 7847 / Email: planthealth@daera-ni.gov.uk.


If you are a grower, garden retailer or landscaper you can visit the Plant Healthy website (planthealthy.org.uk) to find useful information about plant health and a self-assessment tool to help you assess how 'Plant Healthy' your business is. There are pointers on how your business can improve based on the the Plant Healthy Management Standard - a set of practical requirements for businesses to help protect the horticultural supply chain.

View the list of pests and diseases in Shoot.