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Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) recognised design and management of pesticide efficacy trials, with specialist tree tolerance testing and forestry test sites.

Service overview

Plant protection products – herbicides, insecticides and biocides – are only approved for sale and use in the UK once they have completed rigorous registration test. These trials ensure that products are not harmful to the environment and human health.

Our highly skilled, specialist staff have many years of experience designing and managing complex efficacy trials in forestry situations. Alongside our commercial pesticide and agrochemical efficacy testing, we have run experiments in a wide variety of forest locations as part of research projects funded by Defra, UK Research Councils and the EU. We also delivered all tests and trials for the authorisation of PG Suspension, a biological stump treatment agent now available commercially from the Forestry Commission.

Forest Research is officially recognised by the UK’s Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) of the Health and Safety Directorate for pesticide efficacy testing. We deliver key data, including tree tolerance results, for regulatory submissions and registrations, especially for products requiring specific forestry labelling.

Our research nursery at Headley offers 6 hectares under high levels of experimental control. The isolated testing area has flat free-draining soil, full irrigation, flexible power supplies and deer and rabbit fencing. We also have unparalleled access to diverse forest sites (conifers, broadleaf, mixed woodland) across the UK for open and specialist field trials.

Features and benefits

  • Forest expertise: significant specialist experience in forest and woodland trials and tree tolerance tests
  • Experimental control: our 6 hectare research plot is fully irrigated and isolated from the surrounding environment, giving you the highest levels of experimental control for field trials
  • High capacity: unparalleled access to diverse forest sites across the UK for large-scale, specialist and species-specific testing under open conditions through our close relationships with the Forestry England (FE), Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), and Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
  • National, multi-site testing: access to sites in England, Wales and Scotland lets you benefit from comparative trials at different locations and in many types of woodland
  • CRD “Officially recognised”: your data is robust, reliable and ready for regulatory use
  • Regulatory support: we design our tests and trials to deliver key evidence for marketing authorisation
  • Quality assured: strict CRD guidelines and experimental protocols provide transparency and peace of mind
  • Satisfied customers: our partnership model is effective for all types of customer, from independent consultants to large multinational agrochemical firms

Costs and charges

Please contact us to discuss your specific testing requirements.

We work with you to develop detailed experimental designs and a fully itemised costing for the work


To find out more about services and facilities or to enquire about setting up a trial, please contact:

Ian Willoughby