Innovation in Plant Biosecurity

Biosecurity and plant health is an awkward area for landscape architects to engage in: we tend to be generalists and biosecurity is a fast-changing and highly technical field with environmental, political and economic implications. Nevertheless, it’s an essential strand to what we do and understanding how our designs and actions affect biosecurity is a challenge.

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Right plant right place

Finding the right plant for the right place is one of the biggest challenges for landscape architects. Henrik Sjoman’s paper on matching the range of tree species to urban environments shows how to do this with trees, and with the recent publication of the BSBI’s distribution database, we can start to use UK data to help us. There are loads of potential applications for this, whether it’s drawing up plant lists for meadow restorations, highways verges, SuDS schemes, street trees and community woodlands…

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Botanising holoparasites

The language botanists use can be off putting for those trying to get to grips with the subject- even the very best texts on the subject require diligent study (my edition of Stern’s Botanical Latin is never far away) but once you do start to learn the basics, the whole world starts to make a bit more sense. The first landscape architect I worked for told me that the first hundred plants would be the hardest to learn: the next thousand would be easy. I was sceptical at the time but it seems to make sense.

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