Gardeners Urged to Help Build the Definitive List of Pest and Disease Threats

Monday 13 February 2017

New survey aims to identify the most important pest and disease challenges facing UK gardeners

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Royal Holloway, University of London are asking gardeners to take part in a new study to identify the most important plant pests and diseases affecting their gardens. The information they provide will form the basis of a list of the most damaging problems they face.
From February to May 2017, the RHS is urging the UK’s 27 million gardeners, regardless of their level of expertise, to complete an online survey that will help scientists better understand the impact of plant pests and diseases on people’s lives.

The insights gardeners provide will help scientists focus their research efforts, as they work to develop ever more effective ways of controlling garden pests and diseases. The survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/thegardensurvey
The new research has been designed to complement the RHS’ existing annual top pests and diseases data, which provides a snapshot of the year’s most troublesome pests and diseases.

The joint RHS/Royal Holloway study is a deeper dive into the pest and disease problems facing gardeners, problems that are less subject to the transitory impact of the weather, or of one-off occurrences, such as the discovery of a new pest or disease.

Speaking about the new research RHS Head of Plant Health Dr Gerard Clover said: “The RHS is very fortunate to already have a bank of very rich information about the pest and disease problems gardeners face every year, but this new research is designed to drill down deeper to get to those core, persistent problems.

“When considering the question of what are the most ‘important’ pests and diseases to commercial horticulture, the focus is on the economic impact, but for gardeners the picture is more complicated.

“For domestic gardeners the scope is much broader, ranging from the impact on aesthetics, through the services plants provide (lawns for recreation and hedges for privacy), to the negative impact on the quality of fruit and vegetable crops. It is this very variety that we need to capture to get as full a picture as possible of the challenges facing gardeners.”

For more information, please contact Garfield Myrie in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3060 or email garfieldmyrie@rhs.org.uk
 

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Notes to editors

About the RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

 

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262