In June this year the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)* conducted its first survey of UK vineyards. The survey is a legislative requirement to enable early detection of potential threats to UK biosecurity and to protect industry and the wider environment. It also helps confirm country freedom from certain plant pests and pathogens, in order that the UK can safely trade with other countries. The survey ran from June to October.

The survey involved collecting latent samples for Pierce’s disease, walking, and visually inspecting the crop, and sweep netting the field margins for disease vectors. Over several years it will incorporate all known commercial vineyards.

The survey was focused on twelve organisms listed below – a combination of insects, bacteria/phytoplasma and viruses which are termed Quarantine Pests and Diseases (QPDs) which are those listed in schedule 1 of the UK Plant Health regulations. Wherever these are found action must be taken to eradicate their threat to industry and the wider environment.

Margarodes prieskaensis, Margarodes vitis, Margarodes vrendendalensis, Grapevine flavescence doree phytoplasma, Xylella fastidiosa, Xylophilus ampelinus, Canadidatus phytoplasma australiense. Peach rosette mosaicvirus, Grapevine ajinashika virus, Graphocephala atropunctata, Draeculacephala Minerva and Scaphoideus titanus. 

We are very pleased to report that none of the (QPDs) listed above were found during the survey, and that the biosecurity programme we have in place is working due to our rigorous import checks and the responsible importation of vines by the industry.

Additionally, we continue to work closely with WineGB, to help protect the biosecurity of our country and the economic success of our growers.

Our work is centred around preserving and protecting vineyards from potential quarantine pest and disease threats that could compromise their health and productivity.

Our Plant Health and Seeds inspectors are available to help vineyard owners navigate the challenges of plant health. Whether it’s identifying quarantine pests or preventing the spread of quarantine diseases, our aim is to empower the industry with the knowledge and tools necessary to overcome these obstacles.

Please do contact us with any questions, concerns, or collaboration opportunities. 


APHA is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and is responsible for:

  • Identifying and controlling endemic and exotic diseases and pests in animals, plants and bees, and surveillance of new and emerging pests and diseases.
  • Scientific research in areas such as bacterial, viral, prion and parasitic diseases and vaccines, and food safety
  • Facilitating international trade
  • Protecting endangered wildlife through licensing and registration
  • Managing a programme of apiary (bee) inspections, diagnostics, research and development, and training and advice.