Over the past 10 years, we have reduced the peat content of our compost by 25%.
We continue to actively trial replacement materials such as wood fibre, coir and waste from food manufacturing to further reduce our reliance on peat in line with Government legislation.
None of the peat that we use is sourced from sensitive Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).
We also use controlled release fertilisers (CRF) that more accurately release feed when the plant requires it, thus minimising the release of excess nutrients.
By centralising our distribution, we have significantly reduced our local lorry movements, saving over 1,000 miles a week at peak times.
Toddington Nursery now heats their 4 hectares of glass using a biomass boiler. This is entirely powered by wood chips sourced locally from coppiced woodlands within a 20 mile radius.
Binsted Nursery has recently built a new cold store to enable them to reduce by 40% their energy use in the production of potted bulbs.
Walberton Nursery has recently installed solar panels , reducing reliance on electricity from the grid by 16%.
The pots and trays we use are made from 95% recycled plastic and these, in turn, are all re-cyclable.
Since 2006, all the green waste produced in the group is collected by a local company for composting.
We recycle a significant amount of plastic which is either collected by our pot manufacturer or sent to other recycling centres.
Integrated Pest Control
As a significant proportion of our production area is covered, we are able to extensively utilise environmentally friendly, biological control on many plant crops. Natural predators are introduced to control Whitefly, Vine Weevil, Aphids, Spider Mite, Thrips and other common pests.
This has enabled us to reduce pesticide use by 15% in the last 10 years.
Efficient Water use
Where possible, our nursery sites have been developed to make full use of all the rain water that falls on glasshouses and polythene tunnels for irrigation. Binsted Nursery has recently invested in a huge, 22,000m³ water reservoir to secure their long term requirements. Walberton Nursery has installed 3 collection tanks that can hold 750,000 litres of rainwater, equivalent to 2.5 days of the Nursery’s peak use.
1.1 milllion litres of rainwater is collected annually from the roof of our distribution centre. This makes the centre virtually self-sufficient for their pot-washing requirements.
Levelled capillary beds are also used in the group where irrigation is applied at floor level. This makes far more efficient use of water, and because the foliage is kept drier, this, in turn, reduces potential disease problems and improves crop grade-out.