Barcham Trees to go peat-free

Nursery plans to use compost mix made from recycled waste this autumn to boost sustainability.

Cambridgeshire container tree nursery Barcham Trees will go completely peat-free this autumn.

All production will switch to a compost made of recycled green waste and a blend of nutrients and fertilisers formulated at the nursery. The move follows extensive trialling of alternative materials such as coir and bark blends for seven years.

Barcham Trees operations director Warren Holmes-Chatfield said: "It's something we've been doing over the past 10 years. We have been trying different mixes and we have a mix we can use that has fitted into our production system."

He added: "Half our production went peat-free last year and we will go completely peat-free this autumn." The change would make production at the nursery more sustainable and was part of Barcham's work towards ISO 14001 environmental management system accreditation, he said.

"We are an environmental company and we think that it's the responsible thing to do. We've got the right product, so why not?"

He added: "Peat is sometimes a hot topic and then disappears again, but it's always in the background. It hasn't solely been customer pressure, and not many local authorities stipulate peat-free at the moment." The change will give the nursery a slight cost saving, he said.

"Nutritionally it (this mix) is different and requires a different regime, so we've had to change that. It's also more open and has greater water usage, but the transition hasn't been that difficult for us," he added.

Peat-free growers
- Bettaland Products
- Boverton Nurseries
- British Wild Flower Plants
- Caves Folly Nurseries
- Delfland Nurseries
- Jekka McVicar
- Prenplants

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