Plant Healthy appoints new Director - 23rd April 2024

The Trustees of Plant Healthy Limited are pleased to announce the appointment of Malcolm Catlin as its new Project Director, effective from 29 April 2024. Taking over from Alistair Yeomans and working closely with Defra and the other partner organisations of the Plant Health Alliance, Malcolm will oversee the development and promotion of the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme and the Plant Health Management Standard, which promote and enhance plant health and biosecurity measures to protect plant species and associated ecosystems in the UK and beyond.

Malcolm Catlin has worked in horticulture for the last 31 years, including running a mail order plant business, commercial and technical roles for suppliers of plants to multiple and online retailers and, for the last 6 years, as a consultant providing support on product sourcing and selection, compliance standards, sustainability reporting and plant health. He is also a member, and current Chair of the Eastern Branch, of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.

Sir Nicholas Bacon, Chair of the Plant Health Alliance, said: “I am delighted to welcome Malcolm to this important role at a key time for plant health in the UK. He takes over from Alistair Yeomans, who for the last 5 years has made a significant contribution to Plant Health. Malcolm’s breadth of experience stands him in good stead for the challenge of continuing to deliver a robust programme that maintains and raises plant health standards across as much of the horticultural, arboricultural and forestry sectors and associated industries as possible. The essence is that the delivery has to be accessible, practical and make good business sense.”

Malcolm Catlin - Project Director, Plant Healthy Limited
Malcolm Catlin - Project Director, Plant Healthy Limited

Malcolm Catlin, incoming Project Director, said: “Having had experience of audits and assurance systems, of working through the recent changes to plant health procedures, and of liaising with Defra and trade bodies on access to plant health and procedural information, this role immediately appealed to me. Everyone I know wants to do the right thing in terms of protecting plant health, but they also need support in understanding and applying the rules in an effective way, based on risk. Plant Healthy is an ideal way of providing this support and recognising best practice.”

He added: “Horticulture and forestry encompass many different sectors and the Plant Health Alliance is uniquely placed to cover all of them. To be as effective as possible, there is an urgent need to increase the awareness and coverage of Plant Healthy across the board. Alistair Yeomans will continue to provide support as needed to ensure a seamless handover.”

Background information:

The Plant Health Alliance was formed in 2018 following a conference at Highgrove House. Its members currently include Defra, SASA and the Welsh Government, the RHS, the Horticultural Trades Association, the Woodland Trust, the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and various other bodies representing growing, landscaping, garden design, arboriculture and historic houses and gardens.

The first version of the new standard was published in 2019 and this was updated in 2021 and again in 2022. Its aims are to help professionals grow and supply healthy plants and to minimise the risk of introducing and spreading damaging pests and diseases when growing, handling and managing plant material. It is managed by Plant Healthy Limited, a registered charity.

Additional news items can be found on the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme LinkedIn page

Plant Healthy will be at FutureScape 2023 - 14th November 2023

Hosted at ExCeL, London on 21-22 November the event maintains its reputation as the only

show for every landscape sector. Whether you want to browse the latest trends and
innovations in the industry, are looking for insight and knowledge, have the desire to upskill,
are aiming to expand your network and connections or want to celebrate success at the
PRO Landscaper Awards, FutureScape 2023 has it all.

This year the event boasts various brand-new features; 3 co-located events, multiple
interactive demo and hands-on areas, a packed CPD accredited seminar programme with
expert speakers and panels, as well as an abundance of networking opportunities.
Exhibitors are plenty and organised in sector-specific areas for ease of navigation. From
landscaping, design, maintenance, specification, construction, architecture, horticulture
and arboriculture. Start conversations, be inspired and see products and solutions from the
very best in the industry.

New for 2023, visitors can also gain entry to the Public Spaces Expo, the Outdoor Living &
Wellness Expo and the Equipment Expo. Standing alone but co-hosted by FutureScape, the
new expos offer feature-rich showcases, programmes and interest to those in their
respective fields.

If you are a domestic or commercial landscaper, garden designer, landscape architect,
grounds maintenance professional or arborist, join us this Autumn for an unmissable two

Register for FREE at

Additional news items can be found on the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme LinkedIn page

Defra pilot for Tree Suppliers - 20th April 2022

New pilot requirement for tree suppliers announced to strengthen UK biosecurity

  • Tree suppliers must demonstrate their compliance with robust plant health management standards
  • From June, applicants to government tree planting grants must source saplings from approved suppliers
  • Pilot will address the growing threat of pests and diseases and bolster UK biosecurity efforts

A new requirement for the forestry sector will be piloted to combat the threat from pests and diseases and further strengthen UK biosecurity, Defra and the Forestry Commission announced today (Wednesday 20 April).

The Biosecure Procurement Requirement means that, from June 2022, applicants for funding under the England Woodland Creation Offer and the Future Farming Tree Health Pilot must commit to sourcing their trees from suppliers who are either accredited under the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme or who have passed a Ready to Plant assessment, as provided by Fera Science Ltd.

The threat of pests and disease is significant and growing as a result of globalisation and climate change. Introducing the Biosecure Procurement Requirement Pilot now will address these risks to our biosecurity, minimise the net loss to our existing treescape, and serve to realise our long-term vision for our trees and woodlands.

This pilot will enable suppliers to demonstrate that their operational practices comply with the industry benchmark Plant Health Management Standard. This Standard includes protocols which are key to developing a robust plant health management system and sets out practical requirements for suppliers to help protect the plant supply chain.

Professor Nicola Spence, UK Chief Plant Health Officer, said:

“Our biosecurity standards are among the highest in Europe. As we build back greener, we must consider new and ambitious ways to not simply maintain these standards but further strengthen them.

“By leading the way with this new pilot, we are addressing the significant and increasing threat of pests and diseases and building a strong biosecurity culture across the country.”

Sir William Worsley, Forestry Commission Chair, said:

“Our nation’s biosecurity will be integral to the success of our tree planting ambitions.

“This pilot will ensure that the forestry sector plays its role in upholding rigorous standards of biosecurity and in doing so, safeguards our much-loved trees and forests for generations to come.”

The launch of the Biosecure Procurement Requirement Pilot fulfils a commitment within the England Trees Action Plan, which sets out our long-term plan for England’s trees, woodlands and forests. Healthy trees and plants benefit people, the environment, and the economy. Protecting the long-term welfare of our treescapes will underpin Government efforts to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament and plant 30,000 hectares of trees across the UK per year by 2025, as well as form part of wider efforts to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

For more information on the Biosecure Procurement Pilot Requirement, read this Forestry Commission blog.

Additional news items can be found on the Plant Healthy Certification Scheme LinkedIn page