Josie Stuart

Josie is the biosecurity lead for all RHS Garden Centres. She provides training and advice to retail teams on potential risks associated with incoming plant material and how to maintain healthy plants

What do you do?

My role is extremely varied, ranging from providing biosecurity advice to retail staff in RHS Garden Centres to inspecting consignments of plants brought to site. I also respond to entomology and pathology enquiries submitted to RHS Gardening Advice. During the RHS Shows season, I can usually be found supporting the team with plant health monitoring at every show.

“Plants produce 98% of the oxygen we breathe, 80% of the food we eat, and remove about 1.3bn kg of air pollutants in the UK. We need them more than they need us, so protecting them should be our number one priority.”

Why is your team’s research important?

With harmful pests and diseases becoming established in the UK at an increasing rate, planning for healthy gardens with a balanced ecosystem is becoming ever more important.

As a team, we are championing better plant health in the five RHS Gardens by ensuring our activities and practices align with UK legislation, as well as implementing methods to mitigate the risk of introduction and spread of plant pests and diseases.

Projects I’m working on now

  • Working with the Plant Reception Coordinator to achieve Plant Healthy certification across all five RHS sites
  • Developing enhanced surveillance for pests and diseases in RHS Garden Centres

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.