UK: Yorkshire plant nursery hosts senior politicians to discuss industry challenges

One of the UK’s largest plant nurseries Johnsons of Whixley hosted Trudy Harrison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, along with RT Hon Nigel Adams Conservative MP for Selby and Ainsty and Lee Lyons, Civil Servant for Defra on Thursday 23 March 2023 to discuss topical issues within the ornamental sector.

The nursery situated in the Vale of York discussed key challenges they and others in the sector are facing, including the ‘retreat from peat,’ the scaling up of UK production of native and ornamental tree and shrub production, commercial importing, and rising costs associated with inflation.

The retreat from peat is a political ‘hot potato’ with recent announcements suggesting an accelerated timescale. It is estimated that between 1.7 and 2.0 million cubic meters of peat will have to be replaced with sustainable alternatives in the industry.

The industry has been hit by several challenges in recent years, including Brexit, Plant Health constraints, the pandemic, and now the peat ban for some peat-base products, which have all come at a high cost to those in the industry.


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