Update from Andrew Napier on the 'Plant Heritage National Collection of Buxus '
“Last year I was given the opportunity to join a trial of new ‘environmentally friendly’ products for the treatment of box blight and the promotion of healthy plant growth. After extensive application to the wide range of buxus species and cultivars in the National Collection here in Southampton, I was happy to add my personal endorsement for said product. My endorsement was subsequently incorporated into the ‘sellers’ online web pages and other promotional material.
Regrettably this weekend I was informed that I was endorsing a product that was subject to legal challenge(s) regarding intellectual property rights, Whilst I have been assured I have no part to play – or case to answer in any proceedings it became clear that there is the potential for me to be caught up in the crossfire between the disputing parties.
As a Plant Heritage National Collection holder it occurred to me that there is a risk, albeit slight, that they too may get undeservedly dragged into this. Following a review with them it was agreed to suspend/withdraw the National Collection of Buxus from the scheme with immediate effect. A meeting with Plant Heritage is planned for later in the year to assess whether it will be appropriate to reinstate the collection, or confirm its permanent removal.”
EBTS UK hopes that this is resolved in a positive way and that the companies involved can give both Andrew and Plant Heritage an assurance that neither will be caught up any further in the dispute so that once again the UK has a National Collection of Buxus.