Royal Parks 'super nursery' underway in Hyde Park

Work has started on the £5 million Hyde Park 'super nursery' which will grow 98% of plants in-house for The Royal Parks.

(left to right) Steve Edwards and Andrew Scattergood oversee the demolition of the 1960s nursery
(left to right) Steve Edwards and Andrew Scattergood oversee the demolition of the 1960s nursery

Demolition of the dilapidated 1960s nursery is now complete, with work about to start on the 8,000 square metre glasshouse which will have 40% more production space than the previous nursery in almost the same floorspace.

The nursery will be constructed by Deforche Construct NV and Climate Controls and is understood be the first major glasshouse production facility in the UK to use Deforche Cabrio technology which can open and close depending on weather.

The roof will help the acclimatisation of young plants, so they do not have to be moved outside for hardening – saving on labour and maximising space. Inside the glasshouse is split into 13 climate-controlled zones.

The Royal Parks (TRP) said the nursery will save £200,000 per year on its planting costs and will also be used for apprentice training and community workshops and open days. It will also feature a rainwater recovery system, LED lighting and existing boilers fitted with new flues to ensure maximum energy efficiency.

Previously TPA grew 80% of its flowers and shrubs and bought in the remaining 20% from the City of London Corporation, in a contract which recently ended.

Head of special projects Steve Edwards said TPA had to decide between building a brand new nursery or outsourcing all plant production but that most commercial nurseries grow a maximum of 100 varieties compared to the 2,000 varieties TPA requires.

"We were simply not prepared to sacrifice the high standard of horticultural excellence that millions of visitors each year have come to expect.

The new contract will ultimately save us around £200,000 a year through things like the reduction of energy expenditure and wastage, so in time the new nursery will actually pay for itself.

"By not outsourcing the nursery service, we will also reduce the need for transportation, which benefits the environment. Sustainability has been at the very forefront of this project and we have selected a design which meets the highest environmental standards. Furthermore 99% of materials from the demolished nursery are being recycled."

A small nursery in The Regent’s Park will continue to be used during building work and will close once the super nursery is in operation. TRP will seek expressions of interest for this site next year. The new nursery is expected to be operational by summer 2017.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Blowers: the options

Blowers: the options

These machines offer busy grounds staff far more uses than just simply tidying up leaves, Sally Drury explains

Pitch renovation and preparation

Pitch renovation and preparation

Repair work should be planned well in advance and a growing number of products are available to help get the job done, Sally Drury reports.

Waste management

Waste management

Right now is the ideal time to improve how you handle waste material and doing so could deliver benefits, Sally Drury explains


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Don't miss the EARLY BIRD DEADLINE - enter by 24 February

Contracts & Tenders

Sally Drury on professional gardening

Sally Drury

A monthly checklist of things to do and watch out for to keep your garden looking its best.