Defra Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman MP, visited the Fera (Food and Environment Research Agency) stand at the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday morning. Fera is hoping to raise awareness about the serious plant disease Phytophthora.
The Secretary of State was met by Fera Chief Executive Adrian Belton and discussed how some of the UK’s trees and shrubs are under threat from the microscopic fungal-like organisms Phytophthora ramorum and Phtophthora kernoviae. The disease was initially found in the South West of England but has now spread. It has the potential to significantly change our landscape. It can kill shrubs and trees such as Rhododendron and European Beech. Plant health specialists at Fera are tackling the disease as part of a Defra programme.