Resilience – Future Proofing Plant Health

This project aims to develop a more cohesive and comprehensive understanding of the concept of resilience and demonstrate how it can be used to support decision-making and management for plant and tree health.

Research objectives

Phase 1

  • Explore the purpose and feasibility of a woodland classification system to assess resilience.
  • Collate the definitions and uses of the concept of resilience and develop a decision-making framework.
  • Ensure synergies and linkages to resilience-related work being delivered within other research programmes.

Phase 2

  • Integrate and facilitate knowledge exchange within the Future Proofing Plant Health project.
  • Test the extent to which a range of resilience related concepts explain patterns of past pest and disease outbreaks
  • Assess the extent to which current UK policy and practice are consistent in delivering a resilience-based approach.
  • Pilot tools to assess the risks to ecosystem services at a range of scales.


Phase 1 lasted from November 2014 to March 2015 and laid the foundation for Phase 2. Phase 2 commenced in April 2015 and is expected to last five years; activities will complement those research challenges funded by the Forestry Commission under the FC Science and Innovation Strategy.


Prof. Chris Quine

Funders and partners

This project is part of Future Proofing Plant Health which represents a co-ordinated response by Defra and partner organisations to growing concerns over plant and tree health.

JNCC and Natural England are partners in the project, which is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).