For many years we have invested in research and development activities aimed at reducing our environmental impact and benefitting our clients and their customers, passing on environmental and quality improvements.

Our commitment

Plants make a very positive contribution to improving the environment and we are mindful to ensure that our production techniques and delivery methods don’t counteract the positive impact they make.

Reducing reliance on peat

We are continually trialling new growing media to reduce our reliance on peat, such as wood fibre, bark, green waste and coir and will be phasing out peat altogether in the near future. This will be entirely dependent on the availability of suitable peat substitutes that have no major environmental downsides such as long distance travel, energy consumption or inconsistencies.

Using recyclables where possible

All our 1, 2 and 3 litre pots have been replaced from black to curbside recyclable grey/taupe, and we will do the same for the larger pot sizes as recyclable substitutes for these become available. Our plant labels are fully recyclable.

Low energy consumption

Energy consumption is kept to a minimum; the glasshouse thermostats are calibrated with precision to allow heat only when temperatures fall below -2⁰C in winter, and we are working towards being 90% electric for all internal transport soon to reduce our reliance on fuel.

We operate a waste management system with four key objectives

Our environmental management system delivers real benefits to our business and our customers and ensures we grow healthy plants whilst reducing our impact on the environment.

  • Avoid

    We aim to avoid waste, but where this can’t be achieved, waste is segregated and where possible recycled.

  • Reduce

    One of the ways we reduce waste is through attention to detail, careful ordering and stock control.

  • Re-use

    Where possible we use recycled materials.

  • Recycle

    We recycle plastic, cardboard and green waste.

Water & waste efficiency

Any green waste generated is composted on site and used as a soil improver in local agriculture and water is used as efficiently as possible. Rainwater is harvested from the roofs of our glasshouses and polytunnels and irrigation of crops is primarily by capillary watered beds with overhead irrigation kept to a minimum, making far more efficient use of water by reducing evaporation losses.

‘Integrated Crop Management’ (ICM)

We recognise the importance of crop protection products but appreciate the potential environmental concerns from their use and therefore follow an ICM system. It’s a staged approach, aiming to achieve optimum control with the least possible environmental impact, working from simple agronomic approaches upwards.

  • Cultural Control

    Can we eliminate the problem by changing production techniques?

  • Biological Control

    Is there a natural predator or parasite that can control the problem?

  • Bio Pesticides

    Is there a natural product we can use to control the problem?

  • Chemicals

    If all other methods have failed then we use carefully chosen and meticulously applied chemicals.

Insecticide free

For over 25 years we have been at the forefront of introducing biological pest control methods. Our protected cropping areas (poly and glass) have been substantially insecticide free for some years with most pest management being achieved with beneficial insects. Our dedicated and highly trained technical team walk the nursery daily to identify issues as soon as they occur; reacting quickly to resolve the problem before it escalates.

Pest control best practice

We continually review our pest management strategies and base decisions on the best available scientific knowledge, using advice sought from Zest Sustainable ICM, crop advisors, growing media specialists, and others in an endeavour to deliver plants to our customers as near as possible pest free to ensure success in the garden and a trouble free shelf life on garden centres for as long as necessary.

Growing premium plants responsibly and sustainably ensures a bright future for our nurseries and our planet.