What is biosecurity?
Biosecurity is the measures taken to help protect our trees and stop the introduction or spread of harmful organisms to human, animal and plant life.
Biosecurity for visitors
You're the best defence our trees have. The spores that infect trees can live for a very long time so even if it’s been months since you were last out in the woods, it’s always best to check your kit is clean.
Before a forest visit, remember to:
- clean your equipment or any kit that carries soil such as tent pegs
- brush off any visible dirt from your shoes or tyres
- wipe your dog's paws
Working together to adopt new habits will have a positive impact on the forests we know and love. Keeping your kit clean will help to slow the spread of tree pests and diseases as well as help to keep our forests healthy. It will also buy us time to research and develop other actions that we can take to ensure the long term health of our woodlands.
Biosecurity for tree professionals, land owners and managers
Tree professionals, landowners and managers play an important part in protecting Scotland’s forests and woodlands from tree pests and diseases.
There are several actions you can take to keep forests and woodlands healthy:
- Prevent the introduction of new pests and diseases by sourcing seed and planting stock responsibly, and following guidelines and regulations on importing and moving plant products.
- Monitor trees, forests and woodlands regularly for signs of pests or diseases and familiarise yourself with the ones that might affect your tree species.
- Report tree pests or diseases through TreeA!ert.
- Minimise the spread of pests and diseases by taking responsibility for your own biosecurity practices such as cleaning footwear, vehicles and kit, particularly if you're moving between different forests and woodlands. If you've been served a Statutory Plant Health Notice, take note of the biosecurity requirements that are included in it, and make sure they are applied by everyone accessing the site.
If you're a land owner or manager you can also download posters to advise visitors about biosecurity.
Biosecurity for young people
Our tree pest and disease information has user friendly information about 8 key pest and disease threats to Scottish trees. This information can be used in schools or with children and young people in other settings to raise awareness about tree health.