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Tyfu Cymru welcomes you to the launch of the Plant Health in Horticulture Conference this October, which aims to bring together commercial growers and stakeholders from across the horticulture industry, and includes renowned speakers such as Professor Nicola Spence, Pippa Greenwood, Dr Ana Perez-Sierra, and many more!

This is a great opportunity for businesses to deepen their knowledge of how they can reduce waste and losses resulting from pests and diseases, improve business through plant health diagnosis, as well as understanding of compliance with biosecurity and plant health legislation now and after Brexit. There will be key briefings from Welsh Government, and leading plant health professionals as well as opportunities to exchange ideas with plant health experts and horticulture sector leaders.

The conference will be held virtually over a two-week period with daily sessions delivered in a range of formats from talks to virtual tours to panel discussions. Tyfu Cymru look forward to hosting the conference and welcoming speakers and delegates from all corners of the country.

The Plant Health in Horticulture Conference is 100% fully funded by Tyfu Cymru in collaboration with the National Botanic Garden of Wales



During registration you will be invited to select which of the following sessions you wish to attend. Please note: all attendees will be automatically registered for the opening and closing conference sessions


Monday 12th October 9.00 – 9.45: Conference Welcome and Introduction

Kevin Thomas - Director, Lantra Wales and Tyfu Cymru

Professor David Skydmore - Senior Plant Health Professional

An introduction to the International Year of Plant Health. This Conference is our contribution from Wales. The Conference will cover major issues surrounding plant health and biosecurity in commercial horticulture with a particular focus on Wales. It will describe prevention, diagnosis, control and the mitigation of pests and diseases, giving growers information that they can apply directly to their businesses. This session will give an overview of the objectives of the Conference, how the virtual conference will work, what the main themes are and what the programme contains. It well set the scene for the other sessions and lay out the context of the presentations.

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Tuesday 13th October 9.30-10.00: The Role of Trade Associations: Supporting commercial horticulture through advice and representation

Pippa Greenwood - Broadcaster, Author and HTA Horticulture Manager

Pippa is a very well-known broadcaster and author including being a regular panel member on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time. Pippa is also the Horticulture Manager at the Horticulture Trades Association. In this talk she will give her perspective of commercial horticulture and the roles of trade associations in raising awareness and representing members. Her talk will include the significance of horticulture and the factors that may encourage or limit growth of the industry both now and, through horizon scanning, the future.

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Wednesday 14th October 13.00-14.00: Virtual Tour of Crug Farm Plants

Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones - Owners of Crûg Farm Plants.

Ellie Pay - Propagator, Crûg Farm Plants.

Chris Creed - Fruit Consultant, ADAS

This film is a very exciting opportunity to have a tour around the renowned Crûg Farm Plants in North Wales and hear an interview with Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones. They are intrepid plant hunters who have explored the world to building their collections. The nursery is a wonderful source of exotic plants. Chris Creed will be asking those questions to which we all want to know the answers. Ellie Pay, who is very active in the Young Propagators’ Society will be talking about her work at the nursery as well. An event not to be missed.

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Thursday 15th October 13.00-14.00: National Botanic Garden of Wales

Will Ritchie - Curator, National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Delivered by Curator of Horticulture, Will Ritchie, this presentation will introduce the plant health practises routinely utilised at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire to help create a biosecure site. It will cover some straightforward, effective, low-cost tips that horticulturists can use to maintain plant health within their nurseries and gardens.

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Friday 16th October 11.45-12.30: Biosecurity policy and legislation panel discussion

Professor. Nicola Spence - UK Chief Plant Health Officer and Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

In this  presentation the UK Chief Plant Health Officer will describe the importance of maintaining biosecurity to prevent the spread of new pests and diseases and protect our industry. Much legislation is in the process of change, and growers need to be aware of the requirements for plant  passporting and phytosanitary certificates in relation to plant import and export. This is a very important session and an opportunity to hear about government policy from the UK Chief Plant Health Officer. 

Wales Biosecurity and Plant Health Policy

Martin Williams - Head of Plant Health and Biotechnology Unit, Welsh Government

Plant Health is an area devolved to Wales. Martin Williams will put the biosecurity legislation into the Welsh context. He will also describe some of the particular issues facing Wales in terms of plant pest and diseases and how Welsh Government is seeking to address them. This presentation is important for growers working in Wales.

Live discussion

Nicola Spence, Martin Williams

Nicola Spence and Martin Williams will be available for a live discussion on the topics they have covered in their presentations. This is an opportunity for Conference participants to put their questions to these leaders in plant health.

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Monday 19th October 9.30-10.00: Plant Health and assuring healthy stock

Alistair Yeomans - Scheme Manager, Plant Healthy

Plant Healthy Alliance has been formed with the aim of helping businesses grow through supplying healthy plants. It has produced the Plant Health Management Standard. It has also developed the voluntary Plant Healthy Certification Scheme which will enable businesses to demonstrate they comply with the Standard. This is a significant development which will encourage improvements in plant health leading to a more resilient horticulture industry. This presentation will give a very useful opportunity for growers to be introduced to the Standard and the Scheme and to understand how they operate. The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session for Conference participants to raise their questions.

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Tuesday 20th October 17.15-18.00: Pests and Disease: threats, their diagnosis and reporting

Dr Ana Perez-Sierra - Head of Tree Health Diagnostic and Advisory Service, Forest Research

Tom Jenkins - Head of Forest Research Wales

It is essential that pests and diseases are identified correctly before they can be controlled efficiently and their spread prevented. In this presentation Dr Perez-Sierra will describe the processes of diagnosis and some of the new technologies involved. We are currently facing a large number of new pest and disease threats arriving from overseas. Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterial pathogen with a large host range that is causing widespread damage in Europe. We all need to be aware of this pathogen and how to protect against it. So, the presentation prsovide a case study of this threat. The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session for Conference delegates to put their questions to these tree health and diagnostic experts.


Wednesday 21st October 17.15-18.00: Integrated Pest Management and environmentally sensitive control

Dr Nick Bean and Pat Bean - Owners, Springfields Fresh Produce

Nick and Pat bean have successfully grown vegetables and soft fruit in Pembrokeshire for many years, leading the way in business development. This case study describes their involvement in a European Innovation Project, led by ADAS, which will improve the knowledge and experience of integrated pest management to reduce pesticide usage and waste.


Thursday 22nd October 17.15-18.00: Pest and disease identification and control for commercial growers

David Talbot - Horticulture Consultant, ADAS

Bransford Webb is one of the leading growers of ornamental plants in the UK. This is a filmed case study on Bransford Webb’s use of biological pest control.  The film includes an introduction to the business outlining the types of ornamental crops produced and the markets supplied. It then moves on to describe why biological controls are used for pests and how long they have been used. Showing the nursery, the film outlines which pests are controlled with commercially available, introduced biological controls and how predators are used to proactively manage pest populations.  Important information on how pest outbreaks are dealt with and why biological controls are used, including the benefits that they bring to the business, is shown and discussed.


Friday 23rd October 13.00-14.00: Closing of the Conference

Summary of the Plant Health in Horticulture Conference 2020

Professor David Skydmore - Senior Plant Health Professional

This presentation will summarise the key messages that have come out of the Conference presentations and discussions. It will highlight some of the limitations to the industry that have been mentioned during the Conference and what we may do about them. It will conclude by outlining the opportunities for the horticulture sector and the options for progress in Wales.

Tyfu Cymru and Horticulture in Wales

Sarah Gould - Project Manager, Tyfu Cymru

This segment will close the Conference by describing what Tyfu Cymru is able to offer the horticulture industry. It will also summarise how we can make best use of the outcomes of the Conference.

Please be aware that conference details are subject to change at short notice.


Registration information

To register for the conference please click the Eventbrite Registration button above. Please complete requested details and select which conference sessions you would like to attend.

Links to each virtual session will be sent to your specified email address 24 hours before the start time.

Please note: all attendees will be automatically registered for the opening and closing conference sessions