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Welsh Plant Health Surveillance Network

Home research Welsh Plant Health Surveillance Network


Scientist Leone Olivieri in the Tree Health Diagnostic and Advisory Service mobile laboratory.
WPHSN scientist Leone Olivieri in the THDAS mobile laboratory at the 2022 Royal Welsh Agricultural Show.


The Welsh Plant Health Surveillance Network (WPHSN) is designed to monitor native and invasive pests and pathogens that can pose a threat to health of plants and trees across Wales. Insect and spore traps installed at strategic woodland sites will allow us to record presence and/or abundance of insects and fungal spores. The insect samples are typically analysed by staff in Wales while others, and all the collected spores, are sent to our state-of-the-art plant health facilities at Alice Holt for in-depth laboratory testing. Data from the WPHSN will be used to inform the development of priority goals and policies relating to woodland management in Wales.

Research objectives

The objective of this ongoing research is to deliver the tree-based  component of the Welsh Plant Health Surveillance Network (WPHSN), a Welsh Government plant health initiative.  Biological samples collected by FR staff based in Wales are securely sent for analysis and diagnosis by Tree Health Diagnostic and Advisory Service laboratory staff based at Alice Holt and the Northern Research Station.  Within the WPHSN, we will:

  • deploy spore and insect traps across Welsh woodlands;
  • collect data and build a distribution map of pests and pathogens, recording their abundance;
  • assist with decision making processes and informing the development of future policies and procedures relating to woodland management in Wales; and
  • work with external agencies to grow a plant health surveillance network, allowing information and advice to be readily shared with the sector and providing accessible practical support for the early detection and identification of pests and pathogens.

Latest updates

In the first season (2022):

A full review of the first season is available for download as a publication on the FR website.

Our Involvement

  • Research and development activities.
  • Field surveys.
  • Laboratory analyses.
  • Data recording.
  • Reporting to plant health officials in Wales.
  • Collaboration with external agencies.
  • Developing public awareness e.g., through knowledge exchange activities, digital media, and at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show.


Research Status
Research Worker - Tree Health
Racheal Lee
Head of Forest Research Wales / Pennaeth Ymchwil Coedwigaeth yng Nghymru
Tom Jenkins in his office, behind desk fan and computer monitor.
Funding & partners
  • llywodraeth cymru welsh governmentThis work is funded by the Welsh Government.

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