New Thanet Earth glasshouse "to reverse UK cucumber decline"

The fifth glasshouse in Kent's Thanet Earth complex is reaching completion and is shortly to be filled with young cucumber plants, the company has said.

Image: Thanet Earth
Image: Thanet Earth

The glasshouse will be 6.35ha in size and equipped with electricity generating capacity, increasing the site's overall capacity to 24MW. It incorporates high-wire growing, diffuse, anti-reflective glass and sodium grow lamps for year-round growing.

When in operation it will send nothing to landfill, with green waste supplied to a local farm as cattle feed and compost, will incorporate rainwater capture and biological pest control, and will employ 50 full-time and seasonal workers.

Thanet Earth managing director Des Kingsley said: "For us to be helping reverse the decline in UK production and to keep this vital industry injected with new investment is very important. Consumers much prefer to buy British-grown crops, but if the downward trend in planted area continues then we risk British cucumbers becoming the rarity and not the norm on shelf.

"Facilities like Thanet Earth are the future for UK salad production, with scale and efficiency at our heart. We strive to be a centre of excellence providing much needed employment and opportunity, producing market-leading salad crops every day of the year."

The first crops from the new greenhouse are expected in January 2017.

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