Protecting the plants of a nation, with Nicola Spence (Plants and Our Health #8)


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Do plants need passports? And why did some members of the UK public receive mysterious seeds through the post that they didn’t order last summer? The plant health inspectors and officers of the UK are tasked with keeping the country’s plant life healthy, which means keeping an eye on, and eradicating if possible, all plant pests and diseases of concern. Leading the team is Nicola Spence, Chief Plant Health Officer for the UK. Nicola joins us on this episode of Plants & Our Health to discuss the UN International Year of Plant Health, how she advises government ministers on how to manage risks to the UK’s plant life. We also consider the individual responsibility we all have to protect plants, and the impacts our everyday actions can have if we’re not careful.

‘Plants & Our Health’ is a 10-part miniseries made in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and kindly supported with funding from the British Ecological Society.

Not Another Science Podcast is co-created by Helena Cornu and Tom Edwick, brought to you by Edinburgh University Science Magazine (EUSci). Our podcast manager is Alix Bailie. The logo was designed by Apple Chew, and the cover art was designed by Heather Jones.

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Music is Wallpaper by Kevin MacLeod (Link:; License:

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