Landscape businesses met recently at BALI’s Stoneleigh Park offices to discuss the challenge of increasing the specification and use of sustainable growing media. The meeting was chaired by BALI chief operations officer Wayne Grills and attended by Defra head of soils policy Philip Earl.
BALI is the landscape sector representative body on the Growing Media Panel, which was established following initial work undertaken in 2011/12 by the Sustainable Growing Media Task Force. This resulted in the report and road map Towards Sustainable Growing Media by Task Force chair, Dr Alan Knight.
The trade body was asked to bring together representatives from across its membership to look specifically at the road map goal that would ultimately see all public sector procurement include a requirement to source plants and products grown in sustainable growing media.
The newly established Landscape Sector Growing Media Working Group currently comprises the following BALI members: The Landscape Group, Quadron Services, Frosts Landscape Construction, Palmstead Nurseries, Barcham Trees, Crowders Nurseries, Melcourt Industries and Green-tech.
Non-BALI contributors are East Staffordshire Borough Council, the Landscape Institute and Boningale Nurseries.
Following the initial meeting on 16 April at which the Group’s Terms of Reference were approved and its objectives refined, the next meeting will take place at Landscape House on 13 June when work will begin in earnest on achieving those objectives, starting with a report to be delivered to the Growing Media Panel in October on the proposed way forward.