EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2005 Num. article: 2005/137

Horticultural Code of Practice in Scotland (United Kingdom)

The Scottish Executive, Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government, Gardening Which?, the Garden Centres Association, the Horticultural Trades Association, the Royal Horticultural Society, the National Trust, the Ornamental and Aquatic Trades Association, Plantlife International and the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) gathered in a working group to elaborate the Horticultural Code of Practice. This voluntary code of conduct applies to everyone engaged in horticulture and related activities that involve the use of plants in Great Britain. It has been issued in Scotland to give guidance for the implementation of the Wildland and Countryside Act 1981 (http://www.jncc.gov.uk). Such an initiative was possible thanks to the participation of both the horticultural trade and environmental groups. This code recognizes that invasive alien plants can seriously impact natural ecosystems but stands on the fact that no plants have been introduced with the deliberate intention of causing harm and does not seek to stop trade in these alien plants as many of them do not become invasive.

Its recommendations are addressed to:
  • all users in order to know what they are growing,
  • importers and buyers to beware of pests on plants and in soil,
  • suppliers and retailers to know what they are supplying and selling and to label plants clearly and accurately,
  • landscape architects, garden designers, design engineers, tutors, authors and publishers of gardening books to know what they are prescribing,
  • all users concerned with the safe disposal of plant waste,
  • consumers and end-users to know what they are buying, to take advice on best control techniques, to be aware of relevant legislation and to control invasive non-native plants safely.

The code of conduct recalls that there is no statutory obligation to control or report the location of non-invasive alien plants.


Scottish Executive website