GTN December 2022 Sustainability Directory - Garden Trade News UK

Page 1

Garden Centre Projects &Supplier Initiatives to help youhaveanevenmoreSustainable 2023 MORE THAN ACHAIR GTNvisits LifestyleGarden SOLEX TREES Planting in the Lake District GTN’SGUIDE TO SUSTAINABILITY INNOVATIONS FORGARDEN CENTRE RETAILING S GUIDE SUS INABILITY INNO TIONS FOR GARDEN RET Advice &information for garden centreprofessionals SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTORYFOR 2023 PEAT-FREE GROWING MEDIA Glee TVDiscussion AlanRoper GTNInterview with Blue Diamond CEO DECEMBER 2022

Give back to nature what nature gave to

EasyMix 2-in-1 Composter


With the EasyMix 2-in-1, a tumbling composter with unique features, gardeners can recycle their food and garden waste efficiently Boasting quick composting times and an innovative ‘Click & Spray’ feature, a high-nutrient compost liquid is collected under thedrum, then the user can simply clickand connect it to a hose to easily fertilise their garden!

Recycled Materials

During 2022, we have successfully increased the sustainability of our products, packaging, and manufacturing processes.We are proud to have achieved ourgoalofutilising 40% recycled materials acrossour entire knitted hose range, resulting in the removal of 535 tonnes of virgin PVC material

For 2023, weare taking our sustainability efforts even further by removing an additional 400tonnesofvirginmaterial.

Weare dedicatedtoproviding innovative solutions that allow gardeners to enjoy their gardens in a more sustainable way Find out more at www hozelock com/sustainability

NewAquaSave Oscillating Sprinkler

TheNEW RectangularAquaSavePro rangeofsprinklersare designed with a robust anodisedspray barthatpromotes durability and longevity. Thesprinklercan be controlled to adjust thewater flowfrom 0-100% to target theareabeing watered-be it asmalloralarge outdoorspace

TheInnovative 3D Controlgives theuser full flexibility to adjust thewidth, directionand rangewithease; providingevencoverage for allgardens andmostimportantly,helps to avoidwastedwater

*Onaverage across therange; as the %isdependentonthe diameterofthe hose

Atthe start of theyear, everyone was holdingtheirbreathwith expectations foranotheryear of growth, albeit at amuch lowerlevel than seen in 2021. As a result, gardenretailers were stocked to the gunnels.But then the economy tightened, people made up forholidays lostduring COVIDand salesdropped off acliff after the Platinum JubileeBank Holiday.Garden centres sold plentyofitems but high-ticketprice lines slowedupand while there wassomuch stock in thesystemsuppliers expectations of newordersfor re-stockingweren’tmet.

Thesummer of trade shows delivered plenty of innovation (actually above expectations) and provided opportunity for some braveretailers to takeupwarehouse clearanceofferswhich fuelled good footfall and sales in the early autumn.

Then when Christmas got off to an earlier than

normal start, the weather delivered the longest cold spell since2010and that means Christmas expectations arenow beingmissed too.

From ourGreatestChristmas Awards visits we getgeneral feedbackthatgarden retailers arenot panicking, just seeing value in retained stock to sellnextyear.

And whilethe general hospitality industry is stillstrugglingtorecover,gardencentre restaurantsand coffee shopshavebeenbackto their preCOVID best, provingthat even while there areconcerns about theeconomygarden centresare still aplace of choicefor people to visit, enjoy and spend theirhardearnedor saved money.

What we need next is areallygoodSpring for gardening to get 2023 off to agreat start.That is the hope andgreat expectation! Happy NewYeartoyou all.


Garden Trade News

Potting Shed PressLtd DairyDrove ThorneyPeterborough PE6 0TX Tel01733 775700


Editor Trevor Pfeiffer

Advertising Sales Alan Burdon

Features Editor Anisa Gress AssociateEditor MikeWyatt

Index shows that sales in the second half of the year only occasionally exceeded

Digital Editor Neil Pope

Subscriptions Karen Pfeiffer

Design &Production AT Graphics Ltd

Kirsty Craner –Design Alun Jones –Production Manager

RobertTipping –Managing Director James Tipping –Technical Director Printing CG Print Ltd

Do youqualify for acopyofGTN?

If you’dliketobeadded to theGTN distribution list, please send your details to to see if youqualify to be included. Alternatively,ifyou prefer your Garden Trade News digitally,signupfor GTN Xtra,our weekly e-mail newsetter at And, if you want the fastest garden centre salesanalysis, takeout asubscriptiontoGTN Bestsellers our printed weekly sales data newsletter.For just £145.00per year youget Top50sales charts created from weekly garden centreepos data. for moredetails and to subscribe.

Potting Shed PressLtd

Director Trevor Pfeiffer

Garden Trade News is published by Potting Shed PressLtd who also publish: GTNBestsellers, GTNXtra, Glee Daily News and the Glee Catalogue, and the Solex Sun. Potting Shed Pressalso supply Garden Radio to over100 garden centres acrossthe country.
4 Blue Diamond buys VanHage –GTN InterviewwithCEO Alan Roper 8 So much morethana chair–GTN visits LifestyleGarden 12 Towards net-zero gardening with Southern Trident 14 Ensuring aPeat Free Growing Media future–Glee TV supplier discussion 18 Artisan brushes and brooms from Redecker 22 ApsleyFarms -Heating homes and feeding gardens 24 NewSustainable Houseplant Products 25 Saving the planet with Carbon Gold 25 STV’sSustainability Journey 26 Plant atreewith LOFA in the Lake District 28 GCAWestland Rising Stars –13 Garden Centre Sustainability projects 31 Lasting Sustainability at Squires 32 GTN’sSustainability Directoryfor 2023 37 HTAColumn –Finding inspiration in Scotland 33 GIMA Column –Growthisstill on the cards for 2023 Advertisersinthis Issue 2 Hozelock 7 Spring fair 13 Gardena 13 Sipcam Ecofective 17 STVInternational 20 Woodmansterne 23 Primeur 33 Bio-Bean 35 The Solar Centre 36 Hortiwool 39 Fordingbridge 40 Solex 2023 December 2022 3 As
our GTN Bestsellers All Products
-Ayear of
expectations In this issue...
SMALL PRINT:All material ©Potting Shed PressLtd 2022. No part of this publication may ereproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the expresspermission of the publishers. The information supplied in this publication is published in good faith and everyefforthas been made to ensureits accuracy.Potting Shed PressLtd cannot accept responsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by relianceoninformationcontained in this publication or in the vent of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cassation of the trade of any company,individual or firmmentioned, is herebyexcluded.
comes to aclose
2021 or 2020 levels. The index forthe year after Week 49 sits at 3.4% down on 2021 but 14.5%upon 2019. 2022

Forty-five and counting for Blue Diamond

Exclusive interview with Alan Roper,CEO of the Blue Diamond Group, on plans for the future, his thoughts on inflation and the company’s most recent acquisitions -the three VanHage garden centres

Three newsites with arich horticulturalhistory,have joined theBlue Diamond group of garden centres. The threeVan Hage garden centresbring its total number of outlets to 45 and strengthens its positionasa gardenretailerinHertfordshire andthe eastofEngland.

Working in the nurserybusinesssincethe mid 1950’s, the VanHagefamily setupits firstgarden centrein1968. In recognition of its sixdecades of horticulturalexcellence, twoofthe centres,Cheinesand GreatAmwell, will retain the VanHagename with thethird,and most recently opened in Peterborough, becomingaBlue Diamond Home and

Garden.“VanHage’s is an institution I’ve known for years. My mother useddrivedownfromNewmarkettogotoVan Hages in GreatAmwell to look at Christmas. So twowillstay VanHage’sbut Peterboroughneeds to be rebranded,” says Alan Roper,Blue Diamond’s CEO.

Theacquisition has been in the pipeline for some time but complications with the Peterborough sitemeant the process became protracted. “It wasthe hardest deal and the most draining I’ve ever done in my life. Icould havegiven up so many times –itwas easier doing the Wyevaledeals back-to-back with 16 sites than it wasbuyingthis Peterborough site,”says Alan.

ws.c uk Interview

The thorn in the side of the Peterborough storewas its location on the PE1 Retail Park whereitwas arentpaying tenant. Alan explains the VanHage businesshad no controloverthe rest of the site: “So youhad this demographic punch up on the same site-whilst theywent AB1,the retail park wasgoing in the other direction.”The answer wasfor Blue Diamond to get controlofthe whole retail park and the only way to do this wastobuy it.Inthe longer term, rentsfromthe companies on the retail park will enable the garden centre to trade ‘rent free’.

Work has already startedatPeterborough with aplan to increase its turnoverto£8million and relaunch it as a Blue Diamond Home &Garden in early 2023 but alot has to be done and it’sabig challenge. “Our average turnover per squaremeter is £2000 for the group.Somedohigher, some arelessbut if it hits the average,itwould do £10 million. I’ve forecasted £8m. Ithink it will do moreand I thinkthe needle will move pretty quickly here,”says Alan.

Work is also focussing on attracting concessions, such as Lakeland, to the garden centre,and softening the signage around the whole retail park. Part of the current restaurant will become aKipling Patisserie, the interior layout of the whole centre will change to improve customer flow, and Alan hopes the access road can be changed as asolution to the trafficbottle-neck that is problematic at peak times. Retailers to the rest of the park also need to be welcomed back to the area, as overthe years it has become, as Alan describes ‘a ghost town’.

All of this shouldthen bringupthe margins whichare currently fartoo low. “We need to fix thecommercial backbone,”says Alan and adds that the10% margins will need to rise to 40 or even 50%. Alan recognises thestock and displays at this site has been done well, they areaspirational, butwonders if itsoperationalcosts have been problematic. “We’ll soon startbeingabletoanalyse thedatabut there is always alot of reasons whymarginsare low,”hesays.

It couldbethe restaurant but equally it might be the current loyalty scheme wheremembers pay £12 to join for the year and then get 10% off plants, seeds and bulbs and 5% off everything else. This doesn’treally work when there

is alow customer average spend. Alan’splan is to freeze the current loyalty cardsystem, so,allowing those that haveittocontinue, but recruiting newcustomers to the Diamond Club.“It wouldbefoolish to takeitawaybecause youwould lose customers and it gradually burns itself out anyway,”explains Alan. “It’sanicebuilding and it will be lovely when it’sdone. And Ithink aBlue Diamond Garden & Home in this location will go down astorm.”

The VanHageChenies siteinHertfordshirebetween Amershamand Rickmansworth has asimilar foot print to Blue Diamond’s Rake Garden CentreinHampshire. VanHageGreat Amwell, also in Hertfordshire,isclocking up aturnoverofaround£11.7m. Bothare freehold propertiessodon’t havethe complications of the Peterboroughsiteand plansare in place to improve the catering facilities at both.

Inflation considerations

With building costs 30% higher than in 2018,Blue Diamond has taken the decision to postpone its planned sitein Elveden EstateinNorfolk and Scotch Corner in North Yorkshirefor another year.But howdoesAlan think this will affectretailing?“Ithink thereare twostages. Our profits won’tbewhereweexpected them to be this year because of costs. We came off an energy contract over ayear ago so we’vebeen buying on the open market because everydealwhereyou arequotedtoget locked in forthree years wasjusttoo high. There’sbeen huge costs to wages.The minimum wagehas gone up 24% since2019 and you’ve got food inflation so people should be looking at their profit bottom lines on restaurants because they aregetting squeezed all overthe place.”

Alan believes the secondphase is theextra households will havetopay in tax,mortgages, food bills andintereston debt which will putpressureonfoot falland averagespend. “Suddenlythose disposable incomes aregoing to get really, really damagedand they’regoingtoshrinkback. ButI don’t

December 2022 5 Interview
VanHageChenies, Hertfordshirehas aturnover just over £4m
Whatever happens,nextyear will be alitmus test forhow it will play out in subsequent years. What we’regoing throughisnot a short-termthing –for me it’s five years minimum
VanHage Great Amwell the first to be opened by the Van Hage family

think you’re going to start to see that play outuntil you get past Christmas

“It will be very interesting to see what happens in March, April as we go into the new gardening season as people will be more focused on where the money’s going It will be interesting from a garden centre point of view how weride that next year Whatever happens, next year will be a litmus test for how it will play out in subsequent years What we’re going through is not a short-term thing – for me it’s five years minimum ”

From a Dobbies point of view, Alan hopes his AB1 customer demographic will be challenged but will still have money to spend “If you offer the right experience, people will be more selective, so I’m optimistic ”

Investing in horticulture

As well as new centres and improvements to existing ones, Blue Diamond has also been developing its relationship with the National Trust and will be offering, next year, a range of seeds and exclusive young fruit trees propagated from those with connections to

Henry the Eighth and theFlower of Kent apple tree at the Trust’s Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire, the fomer home of Sir Isaac Newton. It is also planning a range of roses based on the collection at Powis Castle, Powys and perennials curated around those grown at Sissinghurst Castle, Kent

It’s also looking into selling a line of bulbs from a grower in Jersey and will be 90% peat-free next year and heading towards the 100%’ peat-free deadline of 2024

On reflection 2022 has been a busy year for Blue Diamond with the conclusion of refurbishing projects at several of its centres and the creation of play areas and restaurants at others But there is more still to come and Alan leaves us with this cliff hanger. “No sooner had the ink dried on the last deal I went straight for the two I had sitting on my desk because they’re too good to wait ”

6 December 2022 Interview
No sooner had the ink dried on the last deal I went straight to the two I had sitting on my desk
ThePeterborough store will be rebranded to become aBlue Diamond Home &Garden
GETYOUR FREE TICKET Grow your gift collection Browse atreasure troveofgifts, greetings and home interiors at Spring Fair 2023

So much more than achair

Sustainabilityisatthe coreoffurnituremanufacturer ScanCom International and its retail brand LifestyleGarden® Paul and James Cohen explain why it matters and why the company’s mantrais‘DoingBusiness The Right Way’.

Basedjust outsideofHoChi Minh City is thehead office of ScanCom, aDanishcompany nowone of the largest producers of garden furnitureinthe world. Itsroots areinthe manufactureoffurniture for major global chainssuchashomeand DIY stores, producing ranges under licencefor rebranding.And this is what Paul Cohen, Commercial Director of ScanCom UK believesmakes the difference. “Wemakeall ourown furnituresowecan trackitall theway through from the rawmaterial, through production to the retailer, which is, Ithink, prettyuniquein thebusiness.”Suchcontrol of theprocess givesScanCom an advantage when it comestomanagingand steering its sustainability,environmentaland social policies whichitdoes with impressiveresults.

ScanCom International wasset up in 1995 by Boje Bendtzen in his homeinDenmarkwith four employees making furniture. Hisdesirewas to be in controlofthe whole manufacturing process. Today,eventhoughthe company is whollyowned by theLarsLarsen Group, which shares similarsocial andethical concerns, his legacy continues

Sustainability –LifestyleGarden 8 December 2022
We make allour furnituresowecan trackitall the waythrough.
Duraboard, wood-effect compositetable tops made with recycled plastic and sawdust.

Wood wise

As ayoung business, ScanCom became afounding member of the Tropical Rainforest Trust. By the early2000s theFSC scheme had established so ScanComswitched andtoday 100% of thetimber it uses complies to the Forest Stewardship Council certification.

With one sawmill in Brazil which mainly handle eucalyptus and one in Indonesia, which works with a government owned teak plantation, it is in controlofthe wood it uses. As all the wood comes from FSCareas whereyoung trees are continually being replanted to regenerateforests.

“Apartfromthe recycled teak we use, we cantrace the timber from felling the tree to making the chair in Vietnam,”says Paul who adds that if youhavea teak table and look after youcan leaveitto your grandchildren. Caring for the furnitureisalso considered and ScanCom doesn’tuse any chemicals in the preservation of its wood.Paul explains it works with aspecialist company that has developed waterbased products which need to be applied to the wood acouple of times ayear

Naturally,inthe production of wooden legs and arms for furniture, the sawmills createalot of sawdust. To makeuse of this, ScanCom has come up with away to mix a small percentage of sawdust with recycled plastic to makecomposite tabletops which areFSC approved.

December 2022 9
Paul and James Cohen in the Essex showroom ScanCom’snew ‘mega factory’ in theMekong Delta, Vietnam covers 52,000m2 and employs 1,200 people specialising in the production of aluminium furniture.

Zero wastealuminium

The newmega factoryinVietnam opened in 2021 creates zero waste with its aluminium. “Webuy the aluminium in long tubes and extrude it all to the profiles that we need Themajority of the shavings, all the waste, everything is turned into blocks, abit likeyou see crushed cars so we canmelt it down and use it again,”explains Paul

In theUK, gardencentrebuyers and customers aremorefamiliar with the LifestyleGardenbrand set up specifically for selling throughindependent retailers, promptedbythe closure of theNova Garden Furniturebusiness in 2009.Paul explains: “ScanComwas usedtotalking to customer wanting to buy100,000 chairs, but suddenly I’mtryingto convincethemweneed to make asmall rangeof products, putitintostock and then sell it afterwards, which wasa whole differentballgame.”This meant having warehousing in theUKwhichhad formally notbeennecessary.Itwas immediatelydecided abrand would be neededtofacilitatethe new businessmodeland thus LifestyleGarden wasborn “Wewanted to differentiatethe range and protect theindependent retailer,” saysPaul whoaddsthat its kept separateand protected from majorretailers and onlinetrading sites.One of the joys of working with gardencentres says James Cohen, Commercial Manager forScanCom UK, ishaving close contact with buyers and owners andgetting direct feedback on ranges anddesigns.Thisfeedbackiscrucial, allowingLifestyleGardentowork collaboratively on futuredevelopmentsbyunderstanding what is selling andwhere there aregaps in themarket.

After its provensuccess in theUK,

LifestyleGarden became widely available and is nowsoldinmorethan 40 countrieswith showrooms in the UK, Majorca and Vietnam with one soon to be opened in Miami. Interestingly when it comes to trends in retail the UK is slightly behind the other countries.

“The UK is much moretraditional,”says James. “Traditional wicker designs arestill prevalent in our marketplace, but Ithink they’re taking abit of asidestep for morecontemporarydesigns, whichinthe rest of Europe they’ve been doing for three or four years.”

10 December 2022 Sustainability –LifestyleGarden
Aluminium offcuts and shavings aremoulded intocubes for melting down and reusing Ranges of pvc-free wicker furniture displayedinthe Essex showroom Retailerscan visit the showroom and get display ideas from the Mediterranean-themed room. All cushion covers in theUKare made using recycled polyester.

Facing up to the problem with plastic

As well as the LifestyleGarden

in Essex, the company also has anearbywarehouse and distribution centre and is looking to increase sites further.“We’vebeenwanting to do this for many years,” says Paul.“Forthe upcoming season, stock on the floor is going to be key. We understand that committing to stock in volume is difficult, so will supportour partners as best as we can, by holding local and global stock wherepossible, for topupand additional orders.”


One of the company’s mantras is ‘Doing BusinessThe RightWay’and this runs through its workings likethe wordsinastick of rock.Every partofthe manufacturing process, whether it be rawmaterials such as aluminium or packaging for the end consumer,isscrutinised so each step can be fully understood and practiced in the most ethical and sustainable way. And its staff and local communities tooare treated with respectand care. Forexample, the company not only supports various charities in Vietnam but it also helps it workers. Throughout the covid pandemic, when the factories closed, workers continuedtobepaid and given their promised meals and health care.

To enable it to continue this highlevel of sustainability ScanCom is asignatoryofseveral United Nations pacts including theUNGlobal Compact Network to helpbusinesses eradicate povertyand reduce inequalities throughsustainable developmentand theUNSustainableDevelopment Goalsofwhichthereare 17

Paul explains that ScanCom has been working for morethan three decades on its sustainability credentials. “Major retailers havetobesurethey’re buying from areliable and trustworthy source.Inthe latenineties therewas alot of vocalprotestsand newspaper articles about illegal logging in Vietnam, Cambodia and the surrounding areas so ScanCom decided the only way it couldsurvivewas if it worked to showits was doingeverything the right way. We’re audited nearly everyday by someone so we have to makesureit’salways right.”

However, there areprice considerations.“There arecost implications to being environmentally friendly because of the things we have to do in the background andthat’swhy we’llnever sell the cheapest furnitureinthe market. Butwebelieve in whatweare doing,” saysPaul.

The DuraOcean® rangeofgreen furniture comes from fishing ropes while the colourfulchairsinthe Nassau range comesfromSocial Plastic®,the material resulting from thePlastic Bank initiativewhere communitiesare paidfor thewaste plastictheycollect from their local beaches and streets.

By its nature, recycled plastic has to be handled differently so the design of achair has to be considered accordingly.The shape and style of ScanCom chairs have been created specifically to provide maximum strength without the use of fibreglasswhich although would addstrength, wouldalso render the chairs unrecyclable.

Demand for recycled plastic as araw material is going up all the time putting pressureonprices. “I think we were the first to introduce acommercially viable option,”says James. “Therewereplenty of chairs around with asmall percentage of recycled material, but theywere £500 achair.The plasticinour Nassau chairs is 100% recycled and theysit alongside any product in a garden centre, fully recycled and fully recyclable at the end of life.” This last point is critical in closing the loop on plastic recycling and James adds the LifestyleGarden websitenow has afacility for finding recycling centres local to homeowners in the UK.

December 2022 11
showroom TheNassau range of recycled plastic furniturewon the Best Sustainable Product awardatSOLEX 22 Chairs andtables in the newNassau range aremadefrompellets created from recycled plastic collected through the Social Plastic scheme.
LifestyleGarden® is abrand of ScanCom and registered with the USA Patent and Trademark Office.

Towards net-zero gardening

Joining the existing acclaimed range of fully carbon-neutral, peat-free growing media that already includes aMultipurpose Compost, Growbag,Top Soil and Soil Improver, arethe brand newFarmyardManure, Fruit and Vegetable Compost, Chipped Bark, and Ericaceous Compost which wonthe Four Oaks 2022 Retail Product Awardand wasshortlisted in the Glee 2022 Best NewGrowing Material category.

After much hardwork, Southern Trident is extremely proud to sharewith the public and its partners that it, and its Harmony Gardens range arefully PAS2060 carbon neutral certified –the first in the industrytoattain this achievement.

Harmony Gardens’colourful, unique, and eye-catching packaging –made from at least 30% recycled materials, increasing to 50% in 2023 –has not only its carbon neutral and peat-free accreditation in full print on the front of each bag, but also the Responsible Sourcing Scheme mark. With everyproduct in the range, newand old, being made from only by-products and recycled

materials with no virgin wood or peat, Harmony Gardens is possibly the most sustainable compost range leading the wayfor novices and professionals.

Growingtrials at Stockbridge Technology Centre in NorthYorkshireand 5-starreviews andfeedback from garden centres and growers showHarmony Gardensreally works and consistentlyproduces greatresults, something retailersneed to feel confident about as we transition away from peat.

It is an exciting time for sustainable garden products and for Southern Trident as it looks towards ever moresustainable methods of packaging and production, and increased carbon emission reduction to become afully carbon netzero company by 2030

Why does carbon neutrality matter?

As our industryproduces moreproducts for the market and consumers become moreaware of the drastic effects of climate

change, it is important for Southern Trident to not only emphasise its commitments to ensuring the continued reduction of greenhouse gases, but to display those credentials efficiently to consumers and get conversations startedabout carbon neutrality.Aspartofthis processSouthern Trident has to target carbon reduction in its ownbusiness, this is not just about offsetting, it really is about positivechange.

Formoreabout the latest Harmony Gardens product range for2023, visit: or the newtrade site Email:, Telephone: 02036337786.

12 December 2022 Sustainability –Promotion
Harmony Gardens continues to lead the way in carbon neutralitywithin growing media with its newly expanded range and accreditations for 2023.


The natural choice for passionate gardeners

The GARDENA EcoLine range is the first collection of watering and hand tools made from over 65% postconsumer recycled plastic;allowing you to garden greener than ever.

Ensuring asustainable futurefor peat-freegrowing media

Earlier this summer Glee TV hosted a discussion with retailers about the transition from peat to peat-free growing media and sincethen, the government has announced that retail sales of peat-based growing media will be banned from 2024

Moving the discussion on further,atthe end of November,GTN’s Editor Trevor Pfeiffer,caught up with representatives from four major growing media manufacturers to discusshow quality, quantity,consistency and cost will shape gardening in apeat-free world. The roundtable eventwas recorded andcan be seen in full in February 2023 on the Glee TV channel.


It’sabout working with really good strategic partners to supply consistent,high quality rawmaterial and making surewe continue to upgradeour machinery

and being totally confidentwith aproduct before we launch. We looked at bringing the Levington TomoriteGrowbagontothe market 18 months ago but it needed afurther six months of trials to ensurethat when it did come to market, it delivered the right results. It’salso about R&D, finding the right blend of mixes of rawmaterials and then trialling.Wedoour ownrigorous testing to makesurethereisconsistently in what we are producing


We do alot of work andour R&Dand the quality teams that partnerwithour suppliers. Forgreen we ensure we getthe rightqualityand thereare no nasties in that product at all. We also use woodchips and have just bought twonew woodchipping machineswith thelatesttechnology to ensure we get thequality and consistency.

roughly 20% peat free and 80% peat. Today it’s the other wayround and by 2023 we intend to be peat free in our Miracle-Grobrand and in 2024 our Levington brand. We have managed to do that by working strategically with our suppliers of the rawmaterials,putting in long term contracts and building relationships with our partners who supply green compost. We’ve also expanded our ownmanufacturing plant. We had one fibremachine, nowwehavetwo,we put in 13 hoppers versus six hoppers to makean additional mixing line to increase our capacity and output.

compost ensu we get t right qua y a that there are that product


Four yearsago our sales were


Our role here, all of us, is to delight the consumer and the gardener.Inevitability the pricewill continue to go up as the actual processof producing abag of peat-free media is slower and morecomplex than abag of peat-based media. The challenge for us is to makesurethe cost doesn’tget out of hand. Gardening is an affordable hobbyand it’s really important we keep it affordable for the 70 million people in the UK.

14 December 2022
Sustainability –peat-free growing media
Four growing media suppliers sharetheir thoughts on the most important factors shaping peat-free growing media -quality, quantity, consistency and cost

Sustainability –peat-free growing media


It comes down to solid long-term R&D, there’snosubstitutefor it.It’sabout knowing your ingredients inside out, howthey’ll react when blended and howtheyreact under storage because that’sabig issue in retailing The product won’tnecessarilybeused the day after it’sbeen made, it couldbesix months after that. We decided to produce growing media for the professional market for many years prior to launching intoretail –the quality needed to be as good for retail as itdid for professional media. The recipes andformulas areactually the same. We have in-house facilities and growing trial facilities in twoseparatesites in the UK. There’sno wayofnot doing that.


Testing,testing and testing.Peatisquite easy to formulatebut even with peatyou hadtoget the screening right and it is abit susceptible to change. We screen our bark and wood fibres fairly energetically intodifferent sizes and blend them with the right quantities of fines, medium and coarse, to get the right moistureholding capacity.Wetestthat we have the same number of fines, medium and coarse particles everytime -wehavea program of testing and we do it overand overagain. It’sthe same principlewith the nutrients.


We arecompeting with the industryofbiomass boilers for wood and wood-based materials. We areinafortunateposition as our parent company is the largest handler of those residues in the UK, so we knowwe’ve got ample supplies to expand in the waywe’re projecting What our parent company is also finding about the supply of woodchip intoincentivised subsidised powerstations is theycan’tdeal with the fine material so the 0-10mm, which our industryneeds, has to be taken out. In order to keep the enormous volumes going intothe powerstations, our parent company is finding moreand morewood-based materials and in doing so we aregetting moreofwhat we need. So it’sadouble edged sword. On one hand we arecompeting for material but on the other hand thereismore0-10mm material emerging that wouldn’thavebeen therehad it not been for the quest to findmorewood to get the enormous quantity to feed the biomassboilers.



All the substrates we use, we test beforewe blend.Then we test theblends andget results back from independent laboratories. That’sthe waywekeepontop of whatwe’re doingand its goingtobepartofour regime nowfrom nowon.


We grow thebaseingredients(maize, ryeand grass) for RocketGroproducts andconsistently grow thesame amount of everyyear. From a qualitycontrol perspective, we know it’savery consistent substratebecause we’refarmers, and well connectedinSomerset with suppliers of substrates. Even thoughRocketGro is arelatively newbusiness, we’ve known alot of our suppliers for overadecadeand they’rewell trusted. Ourmachineryisonly 18 months old,soit’sperfectly positionedtomakesurethe blending is right. Screeningisa choice as well.Itisa cost and we are investinginscreening. It’s importanttoput the investment whereitcounts.

it over and over again. It’s the same principle with the nutrients. ts new materials, have a microbial ent complicates issue mean that a product doesn’t necessarily stay the same. It’s important know what and sure they’re because they don’t always and that adds another little of

what’s going on,

Lots of the newmaterials, content which further co the issue because microbes that aproduct doesn’tn stay the same. It’simportant to knowwhat they’re doing making surethey’re behaving theydon’talways and that adds another little layer complication. It’sabout knowing what’sgoing on, even amicrobial level.


We areveryfortunate with 5500acres of landaroundthe farm that we’re able to actually grow andproduce ourselves alot of the substrates that go into our compost blends. Arecent rough calculation is that over aperiod of abouttwo years we can probablyincrease production by maybe tentimes So we’reready forthat moment whenpeatcan no longer be used.There’s plentyofdigestivefibreout there and that is

Our industryand maybe the retailers too havegot to get back to demonstrating the potential of one bag of compost. It may be a bit moreexpensive, but let’sget away from howcheap can we makeit. Let’sdemonstrate all the things youcan do with 50 litres of co fundamental basis of agood he brownbag that when you’ve spent plants and containers. needs to be right and be sponsibly sourced. It’sstill when youthink That’sthe storythe eeds to get out nsumer,that it’s material and not just the brownstuff in

all the you can do with 50 litres compost. It’s the fundamental basis of a good garden. Let’s not make it the brown bag that you buy at the end when loads on your and containers. Growing media needs to be responsibly sourced. It’s still pretty good value when you think of the potential. That’s the story the industry needs to out to the consumer, that it’s fantastic not just the brown stu a bag

the base ingredientfor our entirerange. Iknow alot of my colleagues here,for example, have some of it in their growing media.It’savery goodsubstrate, there’sa lotofitout thereand maybe it should be abiggerpartofthe growing media industry goingforward.


We arelucky at RocketGrobecausewe produceour ownelectricity and gas from the substrates that areinside the bag of compost. The compositeiseffectively free so that does help keep costs down.

December 2022 15’safantastic material and not just the brown stuff in abag
Toby Thomas, afounder of RocketGro


Trials arereally,really important. We make the initial blends and then use companies like Stockbridge Technology Centrewhich has agreat reputation. Ican showthem [garden centres] what I’mdoing in our in-house facilities and then showwhat Stockbridge is doing -itstands as completely independent data. Ithink the important thing is not rushing to market. Ihad ericaceous compost almost ready last year but Iwasn’thappy it wasright,soI didn’tlaunch it. Iheld it back 12 months so Icould do another season of trials. That longevity of testingand trialling and being rigorous is really important.


We’reina fortunateposition that we usecoir as the basis of our materials. Coir is probably the easiest one to be consistent because youcan control it through the whole process. But even with theother materials that we use, whether it’s

The Responsible Sourcing Scheme for Growing Media

The industry-led Responsible Sourcing Scheme (RSSGM) allows consumers to makeinformed decisions about the environmental responsibility of the growing media products theypurchase. The easy-to-understand trafficlight system meanstheycan comparethe environmental rating and thereforethe impact of the mix of materials within the media. Forexample, agreen ‘A’ rating is more responsibly produced than ayellow‘C’ rating allowing consumers, at aglance, to confidently makean informed buying decision. To comply with the RSSGM manufacturers need to provide evidencefor seven criteria which arerevieweda assessed by an independent auditor.Each criteria is awarded points between 0and 20 and these areadded together to provide atotal which dictates the trafficlight rating seen on the packaging

composted bark or recycled wood or even green compost, you’ve got to work with your suppliersof those rawmaterials to makesure they understand howimportant the consistency of materials is. It’s not about the standards theywant to produce, it’sabout the standards we requireinour product.

It’sthe understanding of products as well. It’s not just the consistency of it, but also about the balancebetween different rawmaterials.

We’vegot to constantly invest in processing Companies areinvesting literally millions of pounds in improving their processing so they produce materials moreconsistently and in ever greater amounts.


We areinthe processofbuilding anew factory India to step up the amount of additional coir we can bring intothe market. We knowwe’ve got overamillion cubic meters of peat to replaceand

it’snot all going to come from coir but we believe there’shundreds of thousands of cubic meters of extracoir that can come intothe market. In the same waythere’s alot of green compost out there. We need to bringthatmaterial up to the standards we want in this industry and invest moretomakeithappen. There’s alot of rawmaterials out there, but we can’t run away from the fact we arecompeting with other industries for those materials as well so it’s competitivemarket.


We need to makesurethe industrycontinues to be responsible and ensureeveryraw material we usenow is more responsible than peat. And we need to educatethat the product we’reusing now is moreresponsible and that priceisdefinitely going to be an issue -itisdefinitely going to be moreexpensive.

such as solar powerwill generateabetter rating than anon-renewable energy,such as coal.

2 WaterUse – Referring to howmuchwater is used in the processofcreating the raw material.

material is produced minimises the impact to wildlife and biodiverse habitats.

5 Pollution – To minimise the amount of pollution to the environment through the manufacturing process.

3 Social Compliance– Concernedwith making surethe people employedtoprovide theraw materials areworking in acceptable conditions, that their health and safety is considered, and no child labour or bonded workers areused.

4 Habitat and Biodiversity – To make surethe area wherethe raw

6 Resource Use Efficiency – Assessing the amount of wastegenerated and the efforts being taken to minimise waste. If the raw material is aby-product from other industries, this will gain abetter rating.

7 Renewability – Relating to the amount of time it takes to replacethe resource used.

Formoreinformation on the RSSGM visit:

The sevencriteria ar

1 Energy Use – The energy used to create the raw material. Renewable energy

means they can compare the with the RSS are reviewed and auditor Each between 0 and 20 a total traffic light seen on seven criteria are: energy energy

Sustainability –peat-free growing media 16 December 2022
Howcan I sell more pest control products? Problem Solved! OURPLACE OR YOURS? eek amouse! Give us acall, let’s make it adate! 01953 881580 INFO@STVUK.COM WWW.STVUK.COM We’vegot something to show you (and you’re really gonna likeit!) and some on-the-daygreat deals This showrooms great! My pest control sales are going to soar! Can you help me with my pest problem? I’ll do my best! PEST CONTROL PROBLEM SOLVED Or we cancome to you! We’ve got over 300 pest control solutions! Why not visit our showroom? So come and seeus! NEW MOBILE SHOWROOM
18 December 2022 Sustainability –Promotion Formoreinformation on stocking Redecker products email: or telephone:01993 824144

Natural, practical and

beautiful Redecker has been manufacturing artisan brushes and brooms in Germany since 1935

Redeckerproduceshand crafted brushesand brooms whichare both functional and beautiful, creating artisan products using skills gained from 80 years of experience. These eight decades havemade us neitherinflexible nor bored.

We remain creative, curiousand dedicated to our task with passion and enjoyment.

• We always makesuretouse natural and renewable resourceswhenweselect our materials forour products.

• All items areplastic free

• Wood used in ourproducts arefrom sustainably sourcedtimbermills

• Any materials derived from animals are ethically andsustainablysourced

• Products areoften handfinished

• Family-owned company thathas been passed down three generations

December 2022 19 Sustainability –Promotion


W-Select offers you aone-stop solution for the planning and management of your greeting cardassortment. Partnering with the best of British publishers, we ensureplastic-free packaging and the reduction of glitter and microplastics.

We decided to move to W-Select for several reasons, including reducing our impact on the environment. With allthe cards being recyclable and both plastic and glitter-free the move makes perfect sense.

process was relatively easy and straightforward. Customer and colleague feedback has been extremely positive, with salesahead of projection from the off.

At Woodmansterne, we arecommitted to using sustainable materials and practices wherever possible. As athird-generation family business, we understand the importance of protecting our environment and safeguarding itfor the future.

• All our cards areprinted by us in Croxley,Hertfordshire. UK manufacturing and distribution keeps our carbon footprint low.

• sustainable forests. Our envelopes aremade from 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper.

• Woodmansterne pioneered the ‘Smart Seal’solution in 2019 that saves over 50 tonnes of plastic per year,and has also now been adopted widely across the industry.

• We have removed all glitter from our products.

• Our foil waste is burnt for energy (one tonne of foil waste creates enough energy to boil 3,500 kettles, and that’s alot of cuppas!) 01923 200 600 or

We would love to explorehow we can help your businessgrowand become moresustainable.

Heating homes and feeding gardens

energy production

ApsleyFarms is afamily-run arable farm and biogas energy facility supplying sustainable electricity to peoples’ homes. The Farm produces soil improving mulch, natural liquid plant food and CO2 that arenatural by-products of the green gas industry.

With plant nutritionand sustainability climbing up the agenda, many gardeners are seeingliquid feeds coming into their own. At GLEE2022Apsley Farmsshowcasedits new product, Natural PlantFood, andeventhough it was lateout of the retail salesstartingblocks this year,the smallteam at ApsleyFarms secured the custom of around 60 independent retailers in just four months. Therewas even timeinthe seasonfor re-orders and customer reviews as confidencegrew. Theshift in the industry will no doubtsee thebig players

launchingnew natural products,boasting desirableUSPsinthe near future. Theymay however, struggle to achieve the sparkling product credentialswitha ‘start-up’feelthat ApsleyFarms is so luckytoclaim.This is what adds to the excitementsurroundingits new products on the horizonfor 2023 -Natural TomatoFood,Natural Tub& BasketFood, and Natural Houseplant Food.

So whyshould youstock Apsley Farms’liquid products? Combine its product profile and the storyofthe businessand what do youget? Highly effective, sustainable liquid fertilisers from a non-mainstream manufacturer,which answer the calling of an increasingly environmentally concerned market. Moreover, as products aren’t currently stocked by multiple retailers, it remains anovelty that will giveindependent garden retailers acompetitiveedge in 2023

Made from plants,

for plants

ApsleyFarms in Hampshire supplies sustainable, food-grade bulk CO2 and has been providing biomethane to theUKgas grid since2014. Formoreinformation, visit

ApsleyFarmsplantfoodisa concentrated liquid fertiliser that delivers thefull package of macronutrients, micronutrients, and beneficial microbes. That means vigorous growth, biggerfruits and flowers and tastier and morenutritious veg. Plus improved soil fungalactivity andtherefore, improvedsoil structure.

Contributing to fossil fuel reduction

The sustainable biomethane generated by ApsleyFarms is an alternativeto natural gas in the National Grid so is helping to reducefossil fuel usage. The liquid from this processisalso an alternativetoother fertilisers some of which aremined from the ground or made from fossil fuels.

Recycled and recyclable packaging

All liquid feed bottles aremade from 100% recycled plastic with the green/ grey colour coming from mixed milk bottle caps. The label tooismade from recycled and recyclable material.

22 December 2022 Sustainability –Promotion
Sustainable reasons to choose the range of natural liquid plant foods from ApsleyFarms
Natural Plant Food from Apsley Farms is aby-product of green and is approved by the Soil Association

Primeur –championing sustainability with recycled rubber

Primeur is not letting anything stand in its waywhenit comes to creating sustainable, yethighly functional garden products and its recent GIMA Award win is testament to this fact.

This year,Primeur was crowned winners of the GIMA DecorativePots &Planters category for its all-new 55.5cm Flamenco planter launched exclusively ahead of the 2022/23 season. The latest addition to Primeur’s TierraVerde selfwatering planter collection, the Flamenco –likeall Tierra Verde designs -ismade from recycled rubber tyres, helping to divert this material from landfill where it could takeupwards of 80 years to decompose.

Not only were the 2022 GIMA judging panel impressed by the Flamenco’s eco-credentials but the unique user benefits that is afforded by using recycled rubber crumb were a keypartofwhy theplanter was selected as winner in its category.Packed full of superior durability,recycled rubber can withstand extremetemperatures, is mildew and mould resistant and plant-safe. It is also ultra-lightweight, making it a flexible solution in the garden, whilst also helping retailers to minimise breakage costs in transit and on the shopfloor

Not content with just one award, Primeur was also crowned “GIMA Sustainability Champions” within the Garden Landscaping category,with its Maryland Border from the EZ Border collection.

What else is new?

Primeur’s multi-award-winning product offering is designed to tackle ahost of common gardening projects. In addition to the TierraVerde self-watering planter collection, Primeur also offers the EZ Border range, theEco Wayanti-slip steppingstone collection, as well as the MultyDeck™ innovativedecking

same, all the while ensuring that style and functionality is nevercompromised.

Another fabulous product joining the line-up in 2023 is the Mower Edge. Available in contemporary greyand natural brown tones, the Mower Edge –part of the EZ Border range–benefits from atruly unique L-shaped design. Created to make grass cutting easier than ever, theL-shape creates araised border edge with an additional ‘ledge’which enables mowers to effortlessly glide along the border of the lawn, in doing so eliminating the need to use astrimmer. Like allEZBorder products, the Mower Edge is extremely flexible which allows it to fit the curves and undulations of anygardendesign and can be quickly installed with the handy installation spikes.

Find out more To find more about how youcan join Primeur’s recycled rubber revolution, please contact the team on 01274 518800, email or visit
solutions plus Easy Tile flexible flooring solutions. No matter the collection the material and unique benefits remain the

Hydroponic houseplants for the home

New range brings new sales opportunities

Anewconcept forhouseplantretail sales has been launched in the UK and Ireland under thebanner Beautanic Lifestyle.Grown hydroponically,itmeans the range is not only peat-free butalso swaps traditional growing media forspecificallycreated lavarockgranules.

To helpcustomers ensure their houseplantsare easy to keep in tip topcondition andare as sustainable as possible,growerMarcel Duijvesteijn hasdesigned apot made of recycled materialswith areservoir and clearlyvisualwater levelindicator.The lava rock granules in which theplant is rooted, provide stability andoxygen while blendedpowdered nutrients,sold in small jars,offer add-on sales forretailers and ensureplants getthe rightnutrition.

Available through plantexporterJavado UK,the choice of plants canbesupportedbyagardencentredisplay and banner suppliedfreeof charge. The company also takes care of the distribution.Aylett Nurseries in Hertfordshire wasone of the firstcentresinthe UK to takestock of thehydroponically grownrange. Shortly afterreceiving thefirstassignment, Julie Aylettsaid it hadquickly sold ninelarge plants,nine potsof superfood,three bagsoflava rock granules and twopots. “The team areveryexcited by this response,” she says

Plastic-free supports

Grass fibres lend houseplants ahelping hand

The ornamental grass, miscanthus is amain component of arange of sustainable plant supports, for the houseplant market, offering an alternativetothose made from plastic and moss.

Brownincolour,Kratistesticks and stakes aremade from products including polylactic acid and fibres from the tall

growing Miscanthus xgiganteus. As theyresemble tree bark theynaturally blend with houseplants stems and foliage. Theycome in arange of heights and diameters to suit awide variety of plants and their different growth habits. After use the stakes and sticks can be composted.

24 December 2022 Sustainability –Houseplants
Email: James Woodham at james@ or call 07712 436972

Saving theplanet onegarden at atime

Carbon Gold is arange of organic, natural and sustainable products that helps gardeners to grow healthier plants, improve yields and reduce their impact on the environment.

Our products aremade with biochar,atype of charcoal which is made from sustainably sourced wood, anditis designed to improve thehealthof the soil. Biochar aids soil fertility by retaining nutrients andmoisture,and it alsohelps to improve drainage andaeration.Inaddition,biocharhelpstocreate amorestableenvironment forbeneficial microbes. Carbon Gold products are alsoenriched withnaturalbiology,which helpstoimprove the soil’sability to support plant life.

Carbon Gold productsare an easy and effectiveway to helpgardeners do theirparttofightclimatechange

Our biocharproducts helpto sequester carboninthe soil, where it canbeusedbyplantstogrowand thrive.By using Carbon Goldproducts, gardeners arehelping to save the planet, onegardenata time.

Sustainabilityisa journey, not adestination

STVisabusiness with sustainabilityatthe core,but it’s not seen just as an item on the ‘to do’ list.

Our approach is to embed the improvement of environmental and social responsibility directly intoour medium andlong-termstrategy, makingsustainability akey partofevery businessdecision.

We areproud to be able to say we have eliminated the use of all fossil fuels in our UK manufacturing and logistics operations through the installation of biomass

boilers. We already have1,000 solar panels on our main siteinSuffolk, with plans to install afurther 500 during the next phase of expansion. This allows us to exportup to 80% of the electricity generated to the national grid. Moreofour unique product is nowbeing manufactured in the UK, reducing the carbon footprint and we have also removedthousands of tonnes of plastic from packaging overthe last year

It’s notstopping there. Motivated by theprogress already made,wehavebegun ajourneytoachieving BCorp Certification. All certified members arebusiness who lead theglobalmovement for an inclusive, equitableand regenerative

economy and meet thehigheststandards of social and environmental performance, transparency andaccountability.

KatyBoyd,STV BrandManager said: “Asfar as Iamaware,wewill be one of thefirst companies in our sector to achieveBCorp Certification It’sauniqueway to demonstrateour commitmenttoenvironmentaland social sustainability because the processisentirelytransparent with allour performancemetrics measured againstthe Bimpact assessmentsand made publicly availableonthe BCorpwebsite. There’s absolutely no hiding!” STVintendstobefully BCorp certified by theend of 2023

December 2022 25 Sustainability –Promotion
To find out more: Formoreinformation about STVand its pest control products visit: Telephone: 01953881580 BCorp is aglobal organisation with nearly 6,000 certified membersin85countries with amission to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet.

SOLEX visitors fund new conservation habitats in the Lake District

Thanks to visitors of SOLEX, morethan £7000 was raised to buy trees for the RSPB Haweswater reserve in Penrith. Gina Hinde, LOFA Marketing Manager,visited in November to see where the trees will be planted and how they will benefit local wildlife and the environment.

Workingfor LOFA,Inever know what each daywill bring, butI do gettomeeta lot of lovely people and often find myself in rather wonderful places

On asunnyautumn day in November,I headednorthwards to aplace Ihad only read about, Haweswater on theeastern edge of theLakeDistrict.The reason formyvisit wasto followupthe Plant aTreewithLOFA campaign wherewe pledged £5 to the RSPB for eachperson visitingthe Summer OutdoorLivingExhibition2022. We raisedmorethan£7000 and lucky me, Iwas invited to meet LeeSchofield, Senior Site Manager, to see whereour trees aregoing to be planted.

1960’s. The partnership developed in the eighties and as time went on it became clear tobothparties, theywanted the same thing for the land. So,in2012, the RSPB took on a45-year tenancy to manage Naddle and Swindale farms along with the grazing rights on Mardale, Bampton, Rosgill and Ralfland Commons.

Oncethe teawas drunk, Leetook me on aguided tour of thesite. Both Naddle and Swindale areworking farms and are slowly being improvedand developed. Leeshowedmethe sheep shedsthat havebeenturnedintoatreeand plant nurserywhere cuttings taken from the land arecared for and growntoreplant and regenerate the land.

opened. I had arrived at the headquarters for Haweswater, early as usual, and was invited into a very conference room to a cup of tea and a chat with Lee about his work. He has working for the RSPB for years and the most passionate and knowledgeable guy I think met; he has even written a book called Wild , a e in all shops, ut his w k and the wonderful work carried out at the site

Naddle Farm in Penrith is approachedbya privateroad hidden away from pryingeyesand as Isteppedout of thecar the heavens opened.Ihad arrivedatthe headquartersfor RSPB Haweswater,earlyasusua cosy conferenceroom to have ac Leeabouthis work.Hehas been 10 yearsand is themostpassionat Ithink I’ve ever met; he hasevenw Fell,availableinall good book sh wonderfulwork being carriedout

Alittle sliceofheaven

Haweswater,including the reservoir company United Utilities, the reser with drinking water. The RSPB hav

, including the reservoir, is owned by the water company United the reservoir supplies two million people with water. RSPB have been working here since the

Haweswater,which extends to 30 squarekilometres is not on the touristmap of the LakeDistrict and it does look likeit’s been desertedbyhumans, but this placehas vital connections to people’slives.

people’s lives.

We back into our cars, and I followed Lee to area where our are being planted and took my breath away. It is a little slice of heaven surrounded fells a glacially carved landscape. There is a beck the centre and it’s studded with mossy woodland. Even on a rainy day in November the place is exceptionally beautiful.

hopped back intoour cars, and IfollowedLee to the area ur trees arebeing plantedand it literally took my breath salittle sliceofheavensurrounded by looming fells within lacially carvedlandscape. Thereisabeck flowing through the nd it’sstudded with mossywoodland. Evenonarainy day mber the placeisexceptionally beautiful.

of LakeDistrict grandeur Haweswater is breath-taking,but ulook alittle closer,Lee said, ecological issues stand out.

Full Lake District Haweswater breath-taking, but when you look a little closer, Lee issues out.



egrazing hasmeantopen commonland andenclosed mland arenot in greatshape, dominated by species-

e g ng s m t open common land and enc are not t s domi ed speci

26 December 2022 Sustainability -LOFA
Pied fly-catchers, peregrine falcons and redstarts (below) and areamong the birds flourishing in Haweswater.

poor acidgrasslandand bracken with largeareas of peat bog drainedtotry and improve them forfarming.This has reduced thebog’s vitalwater andcarbon storage capacity creating awhole hostofproblems for people and nature

Through thevalley runsSwindale Beck which until recently ranasastraight as acanal, havingbeen engineered to drain surroundingfarmland some 200 years earlier.This created unintendedconsequence of increasing flood risksfor people downstream as well as robbingthe land of its value to wildlife.

Having the bends put back in the Swindale Beck means it nowmeanders naturally through the colourfulmeadows which provide flowery hay for the livestock during the winter months. Nowfreefrommanmade constraintsthe beck can also spill out ontothe floodplain and will change its course as natural rivers do.The gravelly bed can again be the spawning ground for salmon and banks will be home to water voles, otters and kingfishers and through, the careful management of deer,there will be ahealthy mix of youngand old trees. These woodlands areour nativerainforests and by enabling them to spread will ensurespecies such as tree lungwort, lichen and pied flycatchers will havea securelong-term future

Ecological restoration is aslowprocess,anyonewho works in horticulturewill knowthat naturecan’tbehurried.This project startedbackin2012withthe planting and regeneration of trees. Ididn’t realise butbracken is nature’smarkerofwhere trees wouldhavehistoricallygrown and covered thelandscape and as youtravelaroundthe LakeDistrict youcan see how manytrees have disappeared. Leeand histeam haveremoved fences allowingthe boundariesbetween woods, heath bogs and grasslandtobecome blurredcreating amorediverse set of conditions for wildlife.Moretrees willbeplanted to benefit thelivestock with natural shade and shelterand more hedges willprovide vitalhabitat for wildlife andhelpwith livestock management. By blockingdrainsand re-vegetating areas, the bogs willbewet andwild,whichmeans ow rthrough thelandscape be ncouragingthe growth mosslocking in that tant carbonfromthe sphereastheygrow. By 50 they willhaveshown this approachisasgood for people as it is fornature Our fundingwillhelp plant much needed

hawthornetrees alongthe valleyhelping to reduce the carbon footprintofthe SOLEX exhibition, and,much moreimportantly creating ahomefor wildlife.Ihaveseenfirst-hand whereour money is being spentand what afantastic differenceitisgoing to make to this wonderful site. Leetold me of planstodevelop the site overthe coming years. Sustainable farming,the tree nursery,wildlife hides, accommodation, education, scientific research, anda range of activities will provideanarray of diverse employment and volunteering opportunities,whichin turnwill help supportlocal communities.

the livestock shelter and more will provide vital habitat and help with blocking drains and re-vegetating the will be wet and wild, which means the flow of water through the landscape will slower, encouraging the of healthy moss locking all important carbon from the atmosphere as they grow. 2050 will have shown approach is as good

“Working at Haweswater overthe next 40 yearswill mean working with change,”saysLee.“Much of that changewillbe driven by big externalfactors –climate,politics and shifts in the landeconomy -that arebeyondour control. Buthow we respond to changeiswithin ourcontrol, and in that,wesee opportunities forHaweswater.Opportunities in what Haweswater can do forsociety andfor the livelihoodsitcan sustain as aresult.And opportunitiesfor naturetobeevenmorevital andinspiring: resurgentalpine and floodplain meadows, juniper on the fellsides, salmon in the rivers,healthy ancientwoods, andthe hum of insects andbirdlife that will follow.”

So,thisisabig THANK YOUfromLOFAtothose that visited SOLEX22, youhavehelpedthisamazing project and the environment.

Find out more

If youwant to makeadifferenceagain next year and help with this vital ecological restoration and give natureahome, then please visit SOLEX 23.

December 2022 27
Sheeppens arenow being turned intoa plant nursery to help with replanting and restoration Viewsof Haweswater’s looming fells and mossy banks
SOLEX. 10-12 July 2023 Hall 5, NEC, Birmingham.
Gina and Leeat Haweswater

Rising Stars take sustainabilitytoanew level

GCAWestland Rising Stars areback and aresureto woo GCA Conference delegates in January 2023 with presentations of their excellentsustainability related projects completed during 2022

Back in 2009 Westland andthe GCA launchedthe RisingStarsinitiative, a series of Masterclassesfor potential starsofthe futurenominated by GCAgarden centremembers, with finalists presenting at conference each year wheredelegates vote for thewinner

Nowinits 12th edition, 13 Rising Starswere challenged to executesustainability related projects at their centres,using Masterclass training provide by Gordon Emslie. Back in September the 13 projects,were presented to apanelincluding GCAChairman Tammy Woodhouse, Westland Marketing Manager Simon McArdle, Gordon Emslie and GTNEditorTrevorPfeiffer

Aftermuchdeliberation, sevenprojects were selectedtobepresentedatthe GCA Conference in Blackburn, January2023. Congratulationsgoto:

• MiaCrawford –PoundburyGardens: Wildlife Friendly Gardeningfor Small Spaces

• VickyTaylor–BartonGrange: Companion plantingfor beneficial insects

• Matt Carr –BartonGrange: Wisewith Waterathome andinthe garden

• PipBransfield-Garth–Ruxley Manor: Bug Buffet

• Jennifer Ind– WebbsofWychbold: The environmental benefits of companion planting

• LouiseOakes –Bents: Home Composting with LouiseOakes

• Ella-MayBradshaw –Bosworths: Inspiring thenextgeneration “Bees NeedsWeek”

The Rising Stars session is sure to be ahighlight of conferenceand provideall delegates on theMonday morningwith plenty ofinspiration fortheir ownteams

After the sevenpresentations delegates will be able to vote to decide who is thewinnerfor thisyear.

Jo Adderley. Bents Project: Demonstrating asmall garden sustainableplanter Aim: To encourage customerstoadopta sustainableapproach to gardening and provide ideasfor gardening in smallareas


Jo’s Rising Stars journey started with ashockathow muchplastic was used in gardening.Bytalking to pot manufacturer Elho, andGill fromBent’s visual marketing team, Jo wasable to come witha design for avertical pallet planter –asolution to growing sustainably in small spaces.

Jo chosesucculents which aregood at coping with challenging growing conditionsand look good formore than aseason with another optionof using Elhohanging potsfor herbs.Her display attracted customers andgave her the opportunity to have meaningful conversations aboutpeat-freegrowing andthe best plant choicefor small spaces.

28 December 2022 GCA Westland Rising Stars
TheGCA Rising StarsClass of 2022 with Course Leader Gordon Emslie, GCA Chairman Tammy Woodhouse and Westland’sSimon McArdle.


BartonGrange Garden Centre

Project: Bringing Wildlife Home Aim: Increasing Biodiversity in the Garden Urbanisation means less naturalspace for wildlife to flourish,but theUK’s24million gardens have the potentialtobecome wildlife havens. At Barton Grange,Ashley demonstrated with hisBringing Wildlife Home campaignthatthrough storedisplays, simplepoint-of-sale andtargetedsocial media, customerswereencouragedto attract wildlife intothe gardenresulting in an upturn in sales of plants and sundries.

Ashleybelievesthe success of his campaign can be built upon with moreeffectivesocial media, tellingcustomers what to look for in their gardens, looking at value options and promoting and tying in with national events such as the RSPB’sBig Garden Birdwatch.

Finalist Ella May Bradshaw. Bosworth’s Garden Centre Project: Bees NeedsWeek Aim: Inspiringthe Next Generation

By providingeverythinginstore that young gardeners need to competeina sunflower growing competition, Ella attracted 149 entries,brought in aprofit forBosworth’s


Pip Bransfield-Garth. RuxleyManor Garden Centre

Project: The Bug Buffet Aim: To createinspirational and functional bug-attracting planters in the garden centrecarpark and track sales of items used in the planters to demonstratecommercial benefit

Pip’sproject to fillbespokeplanters with plants that provide nectar and food for avariety of insects and bring natural beauty to unexpected places, included aBug Hunt to involvechildren from the neighbouring nurseryschool. Three designs of Bug Buffet planters were created to attract bees, butterflies and bugs and the children counted and identified bugs theyfound and then collected resourcestobuild their ownBug Hotels.

To promotethe project Pip created relevant point-of-sale, bespokeplant labels and linked QR codes on the planters to ablog

Garden Centre,and more importantly introduced the nextgeneration to the joy of gardening

From mid-May to the endofJulyElla’s project withsix prizesawarded everytwo weeks, centered aroundher display using repurposed materials.Ellainvitedchildrento buya packet of sunflowerseeds and sowthem in-storeusing compostfrombrokenbags. The competitionwas supportedwith easy to understand leaflets and point-of-saleand promoted it through thecentre’ssocial media platforms

Finalist Mia Crawford. Poundbury Garden Centre Project: Wildlife Friendly Gardening in Small Spaces Aim: To create space-saving planters to attract wildlife

Using pallets,Mia cameupwith twodesigns for verticalgrowingtomakethe mostof space in smallgardens andbalconiesand attract themaximum amount of wildlife. Creativeand informative point-of-sale material

wasbacked up with QR codes leading to conservation organisations. Thedisplays also highlighted the plant food Boostand because of itsprominence in thedisplay,sales were significantlystronger comparedwithtwo other liquid feeds

Natalie Gray. Monkton Elm Garden Centre Project: Growing Biodiversity Aim: HowtoGrow ‘Biodiversity’

This manypronged project encouraged customers to plantnativewildflowerand trees, help insects by usingnatural pesticides and providing bug hotels andlookafter birdsby feeding andputting up nest boxes. Workshops and demonstrations allowedcustomer to handle andappreciatelivebugs andattracted morecustomerstothe gardencentre and restaurant.

From April to August Natalie’sproject resulted in a133% increase in sales of wild bird careand 181% upturn of sales in the centre’s Bug World.


Matt Carr.BartonGrange Garden Centre

Project: Wise with Water–athome and in the garden

and food for a variety of insects and natural to included a Bug (up 247%) a clever and creative instore

Aim: To encourage customers to think about waterconservation and learn howtheycan useitmoreefficiently In arelatively small space,Mattwas able to increasesales of water butts(up 249%),water-savingdecorative bark(up 118%) and water-saving crystals (up247%) through acleverand creativeinstore display and socialmedia.The display includedrunningwater via acirculating pump from awater butt into awatering can and akitchen sink to attractattention.Raindrop-shaped information boardshighlightedfacts andfigures about rainwater and productsweredisplayed alongside. Signage was also created forthe doorsofthe toilets Instoreactivitywas supportedbysocial mediamessaging with morethan 31000views on Facebook, 5778 on Instagram and 367plays of atrial post on Tiktok.

December 2022 29
GCA Westland Rising Stars

Finalist Jennifer Ind. Webbs of Wychbold Project: The Webb’sWay

Aim: Environmental benefits of plants and companion planting

Through eye-catching displays and posters, Jennifer wasable to communicate the environmental benefits of companion planting and howitreduces food miles and the need for pesticides. On social media, Jennifer’s Facebook posts about companion planting reached morethan 8500 people.

Acompanion planting bundle of products, available mid-June to midAugust, helped customers with their buying decisions and in some cases sales of products rose three-fold on 2019.Jennifer believesmoreinformation around the storeinother departments and engaging children could help strengthen the project in the future.

Gus McWilliam-Silk. Monkton Elm Garden Centre

Project: Saving Waterwith Monkton Elm Aim: To increase efficiency of wateruse in the plantaria

With demand for waterinthe UK outstripping supply by 2050,Gus’s project presented ideas and aprototype bench to preparegarden centresfor futurechallenges. Reducing water wastage,improving storage, eliminating leaks and training arerelatively easy solutions but Gus’s flood bench with solar panel to aid water distribution and recycling could help centresgoone step further.

It’shoped upscaling the prototype bench will help garden centresprovide moreefficient watering for plants and controlcosts of water.

Finalist Louise Oates. Bents Project: Home Composting

Aim: To educate customers, createa display and takeaway leaflet and increase composting equipment sales

TheBentsSustainable Walkway,created instorebyLouise, displayed all theproducts and informationneeded to encourage people to compost their kitchen and green waste.

Facts and figures were backedup home composting demonstrationsand rigorous social media posts. Louise attracted morethan 4300views on her Instagram stories and reached 4,800 people through Facebook. Shealso organised aregular blog on the Bentswebsiteand herTik-Tok videos clocked up 430watches. Salesofhome composting products increased significantly throughout the months when the promotion ran.

needs and the project has helped Mary understand the impact this can haveonthe everyday lives of customers and staff

Using recycled and upcycled materials plus plants saved from the compost heap Mary’s SensoryGardenpresented yetanother benefit of gardening

Mary Quennell.

MaryQuennel Bents

Project: Mary’s SensoryGarden Aim: Engage with natureand let the plants and elements satisfy your senses

Marycreated aspecial placeatBents so those with sensoryneeds couldenjoyan attractiveand calming spaceand take-home ideas of howtomakesuchanareaathome. Up to 16.5%ofthe UK population havesensory


HarryRidgers. Haskins Forest Lodge Garden Centre Project: TheWall Aim: To help customersmake more informed sustainable buying decisions to help combat climatechange

At Haskins Forest Lodge GardenCentre, Harrydevoted a‘wall’ of retailspace to showcase products that havea sustainable message. He divided it intofoursections Peat Free, Garden Health, Biodiversity and Recycling

Adopting informativepoint-of-saleand peatfree growingmedia in buckets forcustomers to feel,Harry successfullyshowedincreased salesofmanyofthe products displayed

VickyTaylor.BartonGrange Garden Centre

Project: Companion Planting for Beneficial Insects

Aim: To encourage customers to consider an integrated approach to pest management

Vickywas given an island display undercovertopresent the idea of companion planting to BartonGrange customers. Ornamental and vegetable plants were arranged together along with growing media, raised bed kits and ahot spot for Boost plant food. Bespoke‘Reason to plant’ bed cards highlighted the benefits of each variety while ‘Did youknow’ cards about insects were dotted throughout the display for added interest. Sales of drygoods and plants between the end of May and beginning of September were recorded with morethan £5500 generated.

raised bed kits and a hot spot for Boost food. Bespoke ‘Reason to bed cards

Moving forward,Vickywould liketoset up the display earlier to coincide with vegplug sales and provide aGood Bug,Bad Bug id chartand consumer guide to chemicals.

30 December 2022 GCA Westland Rising Stars
TheGCA Conference finalists preparetheir presentations during avisit to Westland’s EllesmerePort production facility in November 2022.


- Squire’s Garden Centres

Lasting and sustainable changes

The Sustainability Champions at Squire’s Garden Centres have come up with ingenious ways to make positive contributions to the business and th i

It was just over a year ago that Squire’s Garden Centres, with 16 centres mainly in the home counties, launched an initiative tasking selected members from each centre to identify working solutions to help the chain become a more sustainable business

Known as Sustainability Champions they have already helped the business and community locally and encouraged Squire’s to expand the programme with more team members

Recognising the success of the project is Ross McEwan, the group’s Stainability Manager “With various

initiatives working well across the business, our Sustainability Champions programme has certainly gathered momentum over the last year,” he says “In fact, we have increased the number of Sustainability Champions in garden centres, depending on their size, such has been the interest from colleagues With more challenges facing the environment now - and in all our daily lives - colleagues across the business strive to support the programme, working on collaboration, in how we operate There has been a sea change in how we think and how we act, which is great to see happen”


Matt Tanner (pictured), Ce Manager and Mark Felton, Furniture Dept Head at Wokingham Garden Centre, Berkshire.


be used”

What was implemented? Working together, Sally and Lin introduced Squire’s own ‘Too Good to Waste’ selection boxes of food items that although were approaching ‘end of retail sale’, were still perfectly good for consumption

How successful was it? There has been a reduction in food waste and positive customer uptake and Squire’s is now looking to roll the idea of selection boxes out to other centres

“We were approached to be part of a local climate and nature weekend by hosting talks and activities ”

How was it implemented? The champions held talks and demonstrations on how to encourage more wildlife into the garden and informed the audience on the progress of Squire’s sustainability journey

How successful was it? Audiences were inspired and feedback was high It’s hoped similar events can be held throughout the year across more centres

undertaken a signific ciency/carbon reduction progr

“We have undertaken a signific efficiency/carbon reduction pro building emissions Part of this centres to identify ways to save energy consumption ”

What was implemented? Matt and Mark identified a method to individually switch off unnecessary spotlights within the centre without negatively effecting the shopping experience or the need for costly alterations to the lighting system

How successful was it? This work not only reduces electricity use and cost, but importantly carbon emissions The idea has been successfully rolled out ross all the Squire’s centres that use the same spotlights


“With emergence our online business

“With the emergence of our online business and increasing home delivery model, we identified a route scheduling solution that would help us operate our fleet with greater fuel efficiencies”

How was it implemented? With driver input, new software was developed and a companywide training program initiated.

How successful was it? Year on year comparisons show an increase in home delivery miles however by removing inconsistencies and vehicle overlaps, a drop in vehicle fleet emissions has been recorded

December 2022 31
Sally Lomax, Food Buyer and Lin BurtonFoodhall Manager at Frensham Garden Centre, Surrey. are committed to reduce product waste, especially when it can still Anne Dedman (pictured), Manager and Kate Haines, Plant Area Manager at Long Ditton Garden Centre, Surrey. Vicky Page, Group Office E-Commerce Customer & Fulfilment and Neil Brown IT Manager


Hereisour Sustainability Directoryfor 2023.Wehope youfind it useful and use the listings to get in touchwith the companies for moreinformation. We’ll be keepingthis directoryupdated andon-line throughout 2023 so if any other suppliers wouldliketobeincluded please contactAlan Burdon on 01733775700 or by e-mail

ApsleyFarm Sustainable, effectivefertilisers made from crops, packaged in recycled materials, from arenewable energy company approaching net-zero. Green from starttofinish. Making sustainability and efficiency the easy choice.

Bio Bean Coffee Logs areplanet-friendly firelogs made from the UK’s recycled spent coffee grounds. Theyburn20% hotter than kiln-dried wood logs, and theyreducegreenhouse gas emissions by 130%. 02037446500

Bloomin Amazing Bloomin Amazing’s unique triple action gives your garden the best careand attention possible, youare also protecting the wider eco-system in which everygardenthrives and belongs. Our commitment to sustainability also means that everybag of Bloomin Amazing soil enricher is guaranteed 100% peat-free, as well as being organic and vegan

Capi Europe The 100% WasteCollection -The collection is 100% climateneutral and has the CO2Neutral® label. The planters are made in the Netherlands in our factoryinTilburg. With this collection Capi takes responsibility and tries to help solveone of the largest wasteproblems; fishing nets. These fishing nets arecombined with old corks and recycled Capi planters to form high quality design planters for indoor and outdoor with alifetime garantee. With this collection we takecareofour oceans, ourselves and the next generation. Grow agreener life.

Carbon Gold At Carbon Gold our team has asharedvisiontohelp createasustainable future for our planet. We look to achieve this by improving plant health and sequestering carbon. We’recommitted to providing solutions that aregood for the environment and good for business.

CleverPots (Kin) CleverPots has brought to market products that supportgardeners with intuitively designed features and accessories that makegrowing easier and plants happier,all of which are manufactured from up to 30% recycled and UV-stable material.

DJ Turfcare DJ Turfcareprides itself on delivering to market truly ‘green’ lawn fertiliser options. All the products in the RHS endorsed portfolio are100% organic and areboth pet and child safe.

Ekju Our respect and appreciation for naturemakes us conscious. And our consciousnessdetermines our environmentally friendliness. By working with livewood, we can keep our promise of being environmentally friendly,because of its high density and durable qualities

ApsleyFarms’Natural PlantFood 1L/2.5L/5L RRP £8.99/£12.50/£20 Launched:Feb 2022,rangelaunch Jan 2023 Our concentrated fertilisersare by-productsofUKbasedrenewable energy production, fully traceable and made PURELYfromthe digestion of whole crops. Organically certified, net-zero, more nutritious thanseaweed, and packaged in a100% recycled bottle: possibly the greenest liquid plantfood on the market.Proventodouble fruitsand flowers,enhance root development, promote vegetative growth,and prolong flowering.

Company: ApsleyFarms 07932096453 Website:


We areaproducer of different types and models of plastic pots used for indoor,outdoor,and nursery.Weare offering3-D-type flowerpotsand manyother modernplasticpots.

HBGPots is abrand of Arasta Chemical Ind Ltd. Co RRP: as requested send by email.


BloominAmazing™isthe leading, organic-approved, 100% peat-free mulch, easy feed andsoilconditioner from therenewableenergyindustry.Producedin the West Country, it is aby-productfromanaerobic digestion andhas ahighly sustainablecarbon footprint.Mixed 50/50with soil it makesthe perfect potting or planting mixand is greatfor moisture retention. It alsodetersslugs!

West CountrySoilImprovement Ltd. RRP£6.49 inc VAT www.bloominamazing.comore-mail or call to speak to us on 01305889525


Super SmartLawnFeed is a100%organic granularlawnfeed that utilises beneficial bacteria, Azospirillum that is specifically attractedtothe lawn roots, solublemycorrhizaae and seaweed extracttofeed lawns,enhance natural green colourand strengthen roots. A trueindustry first,Super SmartLawnFeed is “the only lawn feed you’ll ever need.”


RRP: £14.99

32 December 2022 Sustainability Directoryfor 2023

Elho We areaDutch family businesswith morethan 200 green fans, who producesustainable design flowerpots and everything that goes with it with great passion. Everything to makesurethat people surround themselves with as much greeneryaspossible. And we’ve been doing so since1964.

Flax &Kale Spanish company BCorp certified Flax &Kale launching in the UK makes sustainable healthy,flexitarian style food &drink for a better world with amission to drivechange.

Fordingbridge At Fordingbridge, we arededicated to making apositiveimpactthrough creating inspiring buildings that are welcoming,enjoyable and enhancethe builtenvironment. As a reputablesustainable building contractor,your project will be expertly handled by the Fordingbridge team.

Formbar At Formbar we source the most sustainable products manufactured in the UK and Europe, avoiding long distancepolluting shipping and only supplying quality products that havelongevity andcan be maintained. In the office we use only renewable energy, recycled paper and when making any purchase we always look for the most environmentally sympathetic option.

Hozelock We arecommitted to increasing the sustainability of our products, packaging and manufacturing processes. Furthermore, we arepledging to develop sustainable practices involving product development and operational activities. As well as helping gardeners to enjoytheir garden in amoresustainable waywith our innovative product solutions. Therefore, our pledge will be driven by three key areas: renew, recycle, and reuse.

Husqavarna As acompany within the Husqvarna Group,GARDENA is involved in the group-wide sustainability program “Sustainovate”, which, as astrategic approach, is aimed at innovations that bring people and naturecloser

Johnsons Lawn Seed As the oldest lawn seed company in the UK, Johnsons Lawn Seed has along and prestigious record of product innovation and grassbreeding,together bringing to market 100% organic grassseed blends.

elho’socean pots

Forits newocean collection, elho has collected and used maritime plastics,suchasfishing nets and ropes, whichare recycled to create one-of-a-kind pots,featuringunique colours, such as atlantic blue and pacificgreen, as well as amarble effect,which appearstoreflect theocean’s colour and movement

Availablein14cm, 16cm, 18cmand 22cm

RRP Oceans pot14cm-£6.99

Oceans pot16cm- £8.99

Oceans pot18cm- £10.99

Oceans pot22cm -£14.99 Website: Contact: Coffee Logs areexempt from ReadytoBurn and approvedfor sale by DEFRA. PLANET-FRIENDLYFIRELOGS MADE FROM THENATION’S RECYCLED COFFEEGROUNDS GARDEN FURNITURE
LAST AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO GROWATREE EKJU craft products using durable timber from FSC well managedforests. If maintained well, EKJU furniturewill last as long as it takes to grow atree. Scan this QR code to find out more!
GO SUSTAINABLE Gorecycled! #Formbar Limited Webb 20VCordless Tiller WEV20TIL No needtoworry about powercables With itslow emissions andeconomical pricetag, the Webb WEV20TILTiller is perfect forasmall vegetableor flowerbeds-savingtimeand effort in the garden.Poweredbythe 20V2Ah battery, theWebb tiller makes lightwork of cultivating thesoilfor anyone.With achargetimeofupto 90 minutes anda runtime of up to 30 minutes HandyBrand: Webb RRP £99.99 Contact Website/emailaddress:
or call:01793 333220 December 2022 33 Sustainability Directoryfor 2023

MelcourtSylvaGrow Multi-Purpose

ThelaunchofMelcourtSylvaGrowfollowedover 20 yearsofpracticalR and D, fieldand laboratory growingtrials.SylvaGrow multi-purpose is carefully formulated using 100%sustainable materials and is 100% peat-free. Theproduct haswon Garden Which‘Best Buy’ 7times. It is alsouniquely endorsedbythe RoyalHorticultural Society and has beenawarded by RoyalAppointment.

MelcourtIndustriesLtd RRP40litre bag£8.99 includingVAT RRP15litre bag£4.99 includingVAT Telephone:01666 502711 Website: Email:

Rapid EV chargingstations

This is afully-funded, fully-managed opportunity to partner withaleading charging network to install rapidelectric carcharging stations at your store. The Ospreynetwork is open to all EVs, leading themarket in accepting roaming payments andwithcontactless terminals available on every chargepoint. With market-leading technology, 24/7 customer serviceand ahigh network uptime, Ospreyisatrusted UK charging network as votedbyEVdrivers.

OspreyCharging Network


TheinnovativeMower Edge Border is designed to makegrass cuttinga breeze.The L-shaped profile allows amower to runoverthe edge of both border and grass, eliminating theneedfor astrimmer.BeingmadefromRecycledTyres makes these borderseco-friendly,flexibletofitto the curves of your garden,and extremelydurable. Each border comeswithinstallation spikes.

Primeur Ltd RRP -£20.99 Launchdate–Spring 2023

Peat-FreeMultiple Purpose Compost with addedJohn Innes 2&3

This newand improvedblend, packed full of naturalmicrobesand with added John Innes2&3,issuitablefor ‘potting on’and matureplants. User and core sustainabilitybenefits areclearlyidentifiedonthe front of each bagtohelp ethicalconsumers make more confident purchasing decisions at thepointofsale. 100% sustainable, low-carbon, andSoil Association approved.


RRP: £6.99(40 litremulti) Website:

Neudorff Experts in natural gardening since1854, Neudorff offers the widest range of products certified by the Organic Farmers and Growers’Association and has an enviable reputation for offering gardening products that aregentle to people,pets and the environment.

Osprey Charging Network Osprey Charging arealeading,trusted EV charging network in the UK. Our cutting-edge rapid chargers are poweredby100% renewable energy and have24/7customer service.

Primeur From the multi-award-winning TierraVerde self-watering planters to the Eco Waystepping-stones, EZ Border garden borders, and EZ Tile flooring solutions -all made from 100% recycled rubber tyrecrumb -Primeur’s eco-friendly credentials arestronger than ever

Primus (A. PerryLtd.) Net Zero Club and Green Dot Approved, 2023 packaging comes with minimum 30% recycled, fully recyclable plastic wherenecessary–and 100% plastic free wherepossible. View our award-winning plan today!

Redecker The Redecker method? It‘sunmistakeable: This means taking the sufficientamount of time to createand produceour products sustainably –resulting in beautiful, practical, and durable objects with which we proudlyidentify with. 01993 824144www

RocketGro RocketGrohas alow-carbon, peat-free, 100%-sustainable, Soil Association-approved, UK-grown, manufactured, sourcedand produced ecostory that is hardtomatch. With a12-strong product portfolio,that is continually evolving,RocketGro’sgrowing media offering is currently unmatched.

Rollins Bulldog Forover243 years Bulldog tools havebuilt a reputation on strength, British Heritage and reliability.Our forged spades and forks haveheads made from on pieceofsteel and our timber handles and shafts aremade from the finest FSCAccredited Ash. Each tool is also backed by a“Lifetime Guarantee.”

Sipcam Working to the highest European and international standards of quality and environmental responsibility,our ethos is enshrined in the group’smotto‘Crescere insieme bene’ –‘Working together better’.

Southern Trident Sustainability is at the heartofour foundation and at the core of our philosophy lies the unshakeable belief that the coconut is the perfect crop.Through our work we haveprovedit works for the consumer,and environment, which meets the aims of the strongly held company values –Green today, Greener tomorrow

STV Sustainability is always at the heartofwhat STVdo. It is not just a tick list effort. It is to embed the improvement of their environmental and social responsibility directly intotheir medium and long term strategy.01953 881580


LifestyleGarden®’sgoal is to createbeautiful, longlasting products, whilst ‘Doing Businessthe Right Way.’The company is committed to its Social Responsibility,supported with state-of-the-art production and contemporarydesigns.

Melcourt Melcourtaims to work for amoresustainable future. We believe it is our responsibility to promoteasustainable environment and haveestablished arobust environmental policy.

The Real Soil Company From its SuperSoil to all-newSuperLawn, The Real Soil Company is championing natural, peat-free, organic topsoil. Every productisfreeofchemicals and artificial fertilisers, and features slow-release nutrients, traceelements and minerals to continuallyboost plants.

UK Greetings UK Greetings offer afully sustainable rangeofcards and nowwehaveour newEco range of gift wrap and gift bags too!

Urban Farm IT At Urban Farm-It we aim to encourage and inspire apositiveshift in sustainable food production. Our products use ethically sourcedmaterials, supportedwith strong educational resources.

34 December 2022 Sustainability Directoryfor 2023

PedigreeGarden V&ACollection

Bulldog Toolsare proud to be in partnershipwith the world-renownedV&A Museum. Packaged in hard wearing, high qualitysustainablegift boxes, encased in beautifulV&A heritagepatterns,these ‘etched head’ hand fork andtrowel, which also bear the patterns,are designed to be retained and loved. Each tool handle is made from quality FSCAsh timber,the packaging is 100% recyclable,and bearsa “Lifetime Guarantee “asstandard

Contactdetails: Brand ManagerSarah Cottle


Passionateabout creating beautiful gardens withminimal impactonthe environment, the ecofective® brand offers garden feed, cleanannd controlproductsthatare safer foryourfamily, good forgarden wildlifeand kinder to theplaneet Also used by professionalgrowers,the brand gives gardenersvery effectivealternatives to conventional chemical garden care products. Our formulas arepesticide-freeand we areusing recycledmaterials wherever possible. call to speak to us on 01305 889525

Recycled Soda Bottle Pressure Sprayer

Connect to most standard drinksbottleswith a simple screw-top fitting. Thepumpcreates pressure to producea fully adjustable spraypattern from the brassnozzle with an on/off control push button.

It’s suitable forsmall plant spraying tasksaround thehome andgarden. It makes agreat alternative to singleuse sprayersfor householdcleaning.Witha recommended retail price of just£3.99

STVInternational LtdForge House, Little Cressingham,Thetford, Norfolk, IP256ND,GB

Phone 01953881580Email WebAddress

Ad-bag from Tri-Star

Boost salessustainably with Ad-bag. Thereusable digitally printedpaper carrier bag. Ad-bag useahigh quality printtechnology ideal forshort production runs.Printyour design from as lowas250 pieces. With no origination chargesand flexibleUKmanufacture Ad-bag is idealfor seasonal promotions, charityfundraising, special offersand loyaltyrewards



TheoriginalSuperSoil from TheRealSoilCompany hasbeen ‘supercharged’ with organic single-source plant-derived materials that areexpertly blended with thefinest naturaltopsoil.Thisexceptional formula consistently outperforms current marketleading topsoils in itsphosphorous,potassiumand magnesium content, plus organic matter which improves soil structure, waterretention and drought tolerance

TheRealSoil Company RRP: £5.99 Website: Email address:

Forest Solar Mushroom Lights -Set

Of 12

Discoveranew world of imagination withthis set of 12 mushroom lights foryour customers. Addawonderfully whimsical touchtoany outdoor space, perfect to placethe lights in aflowerbed or placeunderneath trees& shrubberyfor auniquegardenfeature.Simply place into anysoftsoil forthe ultimate unusual solarlightfeature with awarmwhiteglow.

Solar Centre RRP: £19.99 01582 363238

Sustainable lighting that represents reliability,simplicity and well-considered design to deliver aproduct that your customers can trust.

To get in touch: 01582 363238 |

December 2022 35
Sustainability Directoryfor 2023

EcoCards &Wrap

UK Greetingsoffer afully sustainablerange of cardsand nowwehaveour new EcorangeofGiftwrapand gift bags too!

From the fashionableplant design to handlesthatare actuallymade from 100% paper,fine strips whichhas been woventocreatethisamazing finishing touch. Getintouch to find out more.

Fullyrecyclable FSCaccredited

UK GreetingsLtd Website: Email: Robert.marsden@


Pot-mateissimple yethighly efficientsolutiontocontainer gardening problems.The innovative tripod design createsair flow, drainage and manoeuvrability eliminating unsightly stains to patios anddecking. Pot-mateisavailable in threesizes to suit pots up to 360mm base diameter. Manufactured in the UK from 100% recycled polymer

E-mail Phone 03301755765

Vitax Vitax offers awide range of sustainable, organic and environmentally friendly products including Slug Gone, 6X and its new liquid fertilisers. With afocus on recyclable packaging,itcontinues to develop eco-friendly options acrossall its product ranges.

Woodlodge Woodlodge’shead office siteispowered by their own wind turbine and solar panels. Some of their keypot ranges aremade from 100% recycled plastic, wastewood chip and reclaimed ocean materials.

Woodmansterne At Woodmansterne, we arecommitted to using sustainable materials and practices wherever possible. As athirdgeneration family business, we understand better than anyone the importanceofprotecting our environment and safeguarding it for futuregenerations. We arecontinually looking to learn, adapt and improve wherewecan by working closely with the best suppliers and investing in skills and technologies.

Woolcool Hortiwool areafamily business, based in Staffordshire, in the heartofthe UK. We haveworked with natural materials for almost twodecades, and hands down our absolutefavouriteiswool. We believe in businessand products as aforce for good, and we takeboth our Environmental and Social Impact

Easy ReleasePots&Saucers

This uniquedesign– exclusivetoCleverPots–features aflexible ribbed base,whichmeans a simple press canloosenroots and soil so that seedlingsand plants canbeeasilyremoved and repotted without anydamagetothe plantor the pot. Durableand long-lasting,these pots are designed to last seasonafter season

Clever Pots

RRP: £2.00 -£5.00 fora set of five(four sizesavailable)

Contact Website/email address:www


Hortiwool’sall-season, multi-usegarden pads andlinershavemanybenefits around the garden or allotment,thankstothe amazingnatural propertiesofwool!Use them forfrost andweather protection, to linepots, planters,orbasketsfor extra hydration, deterslugs,add nutrition to soil andmuchmore.

Search#hortiwoolfor inspiration. Hortiwool

RRP: £2.95 perpad, or £11.95 fora pack of 2x Hanging Basket Liners

Garden Pad&Hanging Basket Liner
36 December 2022 Sustainability Directoryfor 2023

Finding inspiration in Scotland at the end of another challenging year

Last month Imadea brieftrip to seesomeofScotland’sfinest garden businesses.Starting with PentlandPlants Garden Centre and Nursery in Midlothian, Imust say Iwas blown away by the fabulous qualityofpoinsettiasgrown there. All areheated by bio-mass boilers too!

While my other visits were primarily retail oriented, alookat Craigmarloch Nurseries near Glasgowwas, for me, areal eye-opener Supplying landscapers, local authorities, house builders and retailers, this multifaceted growerand trader is very impressive. Its six acre, fully automated newglasshouse to producebedding plants and perennials demonstrates arealconfidenceinthe future. Ivisited Torwood Garden Centres in Sterling and branches of Caulders and Klondyke& Strikesand came away impressed by the product range, inspirational merchandising and slickly run retail businesses north of Hadrian’sWall. Imustalsomention thenew plantshop in Juniper Green owned by Merryhatton Garden Centre in North Berwick. This newventure in aformerhigh street bank seems to havegot off to agreat start. My final stop was to Growforth in Dunfermline and aquick catch-up with former HTAPresident Stan

Green who has his finger on the pulse of the Scottish garden business. Ihaveplans to visitsome Welsh gardencentres and will endeavour to visit others as time goes by

Finger’s crossed for abusy December

Iknowthismonthisaverybig one forHTA retailing membersbut with uncertainty surrounding customerconfidence,inflation and therise in the cost of livingjusthow well theydothisChristmaswill be keenly watched by all.A goodperformanceinDecember is vital to cash flowinthe lead up to spring.I’m suremany suppliersand distributors will be watching with even greaterinterestthismonth. Anecdotal evidence so farsuggests arecovery in hospitality but staffing stillpresents major demandsfor businesses.The HTAmonthlysales benchmarking tool called TheGardenRetail Monitorgives afar moreaccuratepicture on howthings aregoing.Idorecommend it to you.

Of course December sees apeakinNationalGarden GiftVoucher sales andthesehavethe potentialnot onlytoretaincustomers butto bring newones in from outside. Thesuccess of the HTAgifting offer enablesthe Association to do what it does for the garden industry

Weather worries

Iknowsomegrowers havehad adelayed starttothe bareroot lifting season due to the mild autumn and consequent lateleaf fall which must be a cause of great frustration. On the plus side hopefully many of youwill have benefitted from arise in tree sales as aresult of The Tree Council’sNational Tree Planting Week which took placeonthe last week of November and into the beginning of December.This is acampaignwemustwholeheartedly supporttonot only highlightthe planting of trees during their dormant time but also to celebratethe benefits theybring allyear round.

Heavyrainhas nowfallen in mostparts of the UK but hose pipe bans arestill in place. While sodden soil will no doubt be further hampering thelifting of bareroot stockand make it difficult for landscape construction,itisgood to seereservoirsfilling and hopefullywater aquifers making some sort of recovery

Our HTAteamatHorticultureHouse continues to provide helpful supportand guidancetohelpyou navigatethe host of challenges in doingbusinessthroughthese challengingtimes. There aremany helpful resources on the HTAmember’swebsiteand we continue to update and improve them so pleasedotakeadvantageofthissupport

Finally,Iwishyou averyhappyChristmas and abetterand calmerNew Year in 2023

Find out more TheHorticultural Trades Association is the UK industry’sleading membership organisation and welcomes all sectorsofhorticulture. To join please email:

Anecdotal evidence so farsuggests arecoveryin hospitalitybut staffing still presents major challenges forbusinesses
Carolyn and David Spray from Pentland Plants with some of their fantastic poinsettias

Growth is still on the cards for 2023

Another day,another dollar and everydollar earnt this year has been the result of blood, sweat and tears!

Likeits predecessor,2022has been another year that has been navigated in any waybut astraight line. Awar, an energy crisis leading to amuch broader cost of living crisis, supply chain pressures, ethical consumers driving demand, a weak pound and an unstable political picture–this year has been afull house in the weirdest game of bingo but yetwe stand herelooking ahead to 2023 with asense of optimism.

Unlikeother sectors, we areonthe precipiceoffurther growth, though admittedly,not quitethe levelofgrowth we witnessed in 2020/21,but growth, nonetheless. Gardening has proven, onceagain, that it is much morethan just plants and lawnmowers. Instead, the nation is turning to gardening for the mental and physical wellbeing it brings. Gardening is creating arenewedsense of community; it is helping the next generation understand ‘food miles’and whereour crops come from. Forsome, gardening is helping to reducethe cost of the weekly shopping bill or is helping to build asanctuaryaway from the unpredictability of the wider world. With gardening meaning so much to so many,wehaveanopportunity to expand our sector even more and encourage even more newgardening to the fold by extolling these many benefits. Although we’reexcited to welcome and encourage younger gardeners, pensioners still remain akey customer demographic and with the ‘triple lock’firmly in placethese shoppers areexpected to return to garden centres in 2023 to continue on their gardening journey. Recognising this inevitability,are youready to serve their needs?

Ethical consumerism continues to drivethe agenda, and we’vealready seen aconsiderable swathe of brands introducegreener gardening solutions. In the coming year, we expect to see this increase significantly,assuppliers look to further improve their environmental footprint. Beyond products, 2023 will see moresuppliers takegreat strides in partnering with greener serviceproviders, while also looking to revamp packaging and logistics to minimise wasteand plastic reliance, the latter being greatly influenced by the Plastic Packaging Taxand Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations that together will radically change the way businesses handle their post-consumer packaging waste.

Launched in April 2022, the Plastic Packaging Taxnow sees suppliers liable for amaterial tax if theydon’tmeet a

30% minimum recycled content on all plastic packaging made or importedintothe UK. The second milestone, January2023, will see all obligated businesses startrecording their material wastebytype, with the first charges coming intoeffect in January2024. EPR will requirebusinesses placing materials intothe market to bear the full cost of the collection, sorting,recycling and disposal of packaging waste. Moreinformation about the EPR and GIMA’s supportwith the transition can be found at uk/epr and

Despitegrowth on the horizon, some wordsofcaution are required -2023will be about holding your nerve.Atarecent CBI conference, Tony Danker,CBI Director General said: “You don’tget up the hill by taking your foot off the accelerator,” and Ithink that this perfectly summarises howweshould viewthe year ahead. None of the challenges we arefacing presently are going to be solved overnight, so alot of hardwork and some crosssector collaborations could pay dividends in the long and shortterm. We arestill waiting to hear what the Government’s energy supportscheme for businesswill look like, inflationary pressures will be around for some time to come, and recruitment and talent retention will be key. Looking after your workforce is going to be moreimportant than ever whether that’s by offering flexible working,cost of living payments, free lunches, travel expenses. Anything that helps may make the differencewhen pressures continue in the NewYear

As always, GIMA remains open to its members to supportwith abusy hybrid programme of both in-person and online events and webinars. Together we have weathered worse storms, and we can takeour experience from this to help members navigatewhatever 2023 might havetothrow at us. We’realso heretohelp celebrate growth and opportunity with our awards programme, while also supporting causes such as the Greenfingers Charity,which remains our President’schosen charity

All that remains to be said is to wish youall the best of luck for 2023 and to congratulateyou for your hardwork, innovation and dedication that made 2022 yetanother incredible year to be partofthe garden retail sector

VickyNuttall, Director of GIMA

The Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association (GIMA) is amembership organisation of around 150 members representing the majority shareofsuppliers and manufacturers operating within the UK gardening industry.

Formed in 1999,its goal is to promotethe commercial, trading and industrial interests of UK and EU-based companies supplying the UK garden industry.

Runbyasmall team of dedicated professionals, and governed by acouncil of members, GIMA is funded by membership subscriptions and services.

The rangeofservices and supportprovided for members is extensive, offering something for all members, regardlessof their sizeorheritage

01959 564947

38 December 2022 Viewpoint
Find out more Forfurther information about GIMA, please call
GIMA Events Calendar 2023 –Key dates for your diary!
Garden Press Event
February21, BusinessDesign Centre,Islington
Judging –11-12 July,Warwick Racecourse Gala Dinner –19October,Celtic Manor Resort, Newport
Belton Woods, Grantham
NEC, Birmingham
• GIMADay Conference March 2023,Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire • GIMAAwards Entries –March
• GIMAatGlee 27–29June,
Celebrate Summer at Solex The only show organised by the industry for the industry 10-12 July 2023 Hall 5. NEC, Birmingham 01952 977569 |

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.