Heather met with the HTA (Horticultural Trades Association) and representatives from two member businesses. Laura and John Jackson from Swarkestone Nursery and Darren Sanders from Garden King hosted visits to discuss the key issues facing the industry.
Growing media was high on the agenda as well as water security, import checks, planning issues and labour.
Positive discussions were held on all these topics, leaving all parties happy with the progress being made thus far.
John and Laura Jackson said:
“We were delighted to welcome Heather Wheeler MP to our site for a second time. The anticipated ban on the commercial use of peat from 2026 will have a significant impact on the range of products available to businesses and the gardening public. Having been trialling with peat-free, there was great value in being able to discuss this with Heather Wheeler MP and the HTA. “
Darren Sanders said:
“It was great to be able to host a visit from Heather Wheeler MP to discuss the key elements of our business as well as the challenges we face. As we are about to open our new extension, it was a perfect time to discuss the process of gaining planning permission and accessing materials. Water is key to the sector, and, having offered our own water saving advice to consumers, it was hugely valuable to discuss water security with Heather and the HTA.”
Jennifer Pheasey said:
“The sector faces significant challenges and requires certainty, clarity and support to enable business to plan. When we couple the increased watering requirements for peat free growing with the pressing need to invest long term water security, the scale of the challenges ahead are vast. It is crucial that horticultural businesses have sufficient time and can access the support they need to invest in peat free growing and water resilience. We welcome the opportunity to meet with stakeholders such a Heather Wheeler MP who can express these concerns in Westminster.”
“My visits to Swarkestone and Garden King were a great display of the horticulture sector in full swing. The social, environmental, and economic benefits of environmental horticulture are substantial and todays visits consolidated the need to support our gardening and horticulture sector and all those who work hard to deliver the plants and trees we need to meet climate targets.”