New Place Nurseries founder Duncan dies at 82

George Duncan, who founded New Place Nurseries, has died aged 82, after a long illness.

Occupying a 60ha site at Pulborough, in West Sussex, since 1958, the nursery initially grew wheat before moving into fruit production, growing soft fruit for Kentish Gardens and top fruit for Fargro, while also developing one of the first pick-your-own farms in the South East in the early 1970s.

In 1975, Duncan was asked by Fargro to consider container tree and ericaceous plant production for the co-operative now called Farplants. Duncan appointed John Hedger to manage this side of the business in 1976.

In the late 1980s, the nursery decided to leave Farplants to specialise in the supply of container trees to the garden-centre market and pot-grown liners for nurseries, expanding to its position today as one of the leading suppliers for both products in the UK.

After a company reorganisation in 2008, the nursery continues in its present form with Hedger as managing director and a team of directors including Duncan's daughter, Clare, as finance director.

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