Natural England to pay Sinclair Horticulture initial £9m in compensation for peat operations at Bolton Fell bog

Sinclair Horticulture has reached an interim agreement with Natural England over the future of its peat bog operations at Bolton Fell Moss in Cumbria.

The main terms of the agreement are: 

  • An advance initial payment of £9 million will be made to William Sinclair by 12 April 2010.  William Sinclair will continue to work with Natural England to assess the level of full compensation payable.  This compensation will be calculated in accordance with the principles set out in the National Parks and Access to Countryside Act as well as the Compulsory Purchase Act and the Land Compensation Act.
  • William Sinclair's professional advisors calculate the value of compensation due to the company to be substantially greater than the £9 million advance payment.
  • William Sinclair will implement a phased withdrawal of peat harvesting from Bolton Fell starting immediately and completing by November 2013.
  • During this period William Sinclair will continue to harvest peat while working toward a restoration scheme agreed with Natural England.  This scheme will accelerate regeneration of the peat bogs and ensure the ecological value of the site is sustained.
  • In the event that compensation cannot be agreed between the parties before 30 November 2011 the matter can be referred by either side to the Lands Tribunal, specifically the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), for a decision.  In such circumstances, it is possible that payment of further compensation could be delayed by a further year or more.

Sinclair chief executive Bernard Burns said: "We are delighted to have clarity on the Bolton Fell issue.  William Sinclair is half way through a £3 million, three year investment programme in peat free technology to improve the quality and availability of this growing material.

"Our 'New Horizon' peat free product is substantially better in terms of performance and reliability than competing products.  Part of the compensation we are receiving for the Bolton Fell bog will be used to consolidate our leading position in the peat free market.  This sector of the market will become increasingly important following the announcement by the Environment Secretary on 8 March 2010 about the phase-out of peat in compost material.

"William Sinclair can continue to meet customer demand for its peat based products via the company's remaining peat reserves at other UK sites."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

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

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Botanist Dr Trevor Dines suggests there are commercial opportunities for local seed supply in the UK.

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

Australian analysts suggest Wesfarmers could pull out of the UK following the continued woes of Bunnings/Homebase UK & Ireland, but is there a way forward for the 250-store DIY/garden centre group?

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.

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

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy