HTA Contact Conference, January 17-18

UK: Plant health, water abstraction and sustainable cities

UK plant health, reforms to the water abstraction system and plants for the sustainable C21st city are all on the agenda for the HTA Contact Conference 2017.
‘Surviving and thriving’ is the theme for this biennial event, held for growers and nurserymen, which takes place on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 January at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire.

The event is proud to be supported by Headline partner, London Stone and Conference partner, ICL.

UK Plant Health: challenges and opportunities
Protecting our trees and plants is enormously important for all of us. One of the biggest challenges is to scan the horizon and predict what the new threats are. Nicola Spence, Chief Plant Health Officer and Deputy Director Plant and Bee Health, Varieties and Seeds, Animal and Plant Health, DEFRA, will present progress on pre-border activities to reduce the risk of pests and diseases arriving here from overseas, including work with countries beyond the EU to drive up standards; activities at the border to reduce the risk of pests and diseases entering the EU and the UK and action inland to step up surveillance and improve preparedness.

What’s in the pipeline?
With the much publicised reforms to the water abstraction system that are likely to affect most growers, John Adlam, Dove Associates, will outline the proposed government strategy, details of how time limited licence renewals could be treated, the future of licences of right and how drip irrigation will be brought into the system. It will include ways in which you could build in resilience into your water supply to cover the unexpected. John’s talk will also outline the outlook for UK pesticides, post Brexit.

What sort of plants do we need for the sustainable C21st city?
What sort of plants do we need to grow and use in order to effectively respond to national policy agenda? How different might these plants be from those that we currently grow? James Hitchmough, Head of Department and Professor of Horticultural Ecology, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, will look to identify key challenges from plant use and supply perspectives and how are we going to develop a more strategic view of the changes that are coming. It will also reflect on what our response should be to international treaties such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and national Biosecurity measures that are putting a brake on the ingress of the new genetic material that we need to respond to our changing world.

In addition to the HTA Contact Conference, the APL Stone Seminar ‘Paving the Way’ will take place on Tuesday 17 January and the BPOA Spring Conference will take place on Wednesday 18 January, both also at Whittlebury Hall. The shared lunches and breaks will offer unrivalled networking opportunities across sectors of the industry which do not often come into contact with each other.

Delegates at each event are also welcome to attend the joint dinner, which takes place at Whittlebury Hall on the evening of Tuesday 17 January. The dinner will also include an engaging after-dinner talk from Adam Frost.

To book your place or for more information on the event, email

The event is supported by Headline partner, London Stone and Conference partner, ICL. As well as Exhibitor partners, Towergate HTA Insurance, XL Horticulture, Citation, Melcourt, CambridgeHOK and Global Stone Paving.

For more information
Horticultural Trades Association
Horticulture House
19 High Street
West Berkshire
T: +44 (0)118 930 3132
Fax: +44 (0)118 932 3453
NGGV: +44 (0)118 930 2092

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