£200m of plants lost

Titchmarsh warns of ‘end of horticulture industry’

Alan Titchmarsh: ‘end of horticulture’

Britain’s horticultural commercial grower industry, worth up to £50 million in Scotland alone, could be destroyed by the UK coronavirus shutdown.

An estimated £200m of seasonal plants will have to be thrown out across the UK ornamental horticulture grower industry, claims the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA).

HTA chairman and former Dobbies Garden Centres boss James Barnes, said: “We are calling for the government to work with the HTA to come up with a financial support scheme.”

Television gardener Alan Titchmarsh, said: “This spring could well bring about the end of British horticulture as we know it.

“Hundreds of nursery owners and growers are facing huge losses of plants and revenue simply because the stock they have spent many months nurturing for the spring market – their peak season – will have to be destroyed since garden centres and other outlets are closed for business.

“This means not only a loss of billions of pounds to the UK economy and of thousands of jobs but, more than this, it will decimate an industry that will be unable to recover for the foreseeable future.

“Our gardens and green spaces – the very things that provide spiritual and physical sustenance at times like this – will no longer be able to call upon the variety of plants that are currently available – a range that has taken decades to develop.

“Without some form of rescue package, we are destined to see our gardens and public open spaces decline as growers find it impossible to recover from unsustainable losses. Businesses will disappear overnight in a situation that will take many years to reverse. 

“I urge the government to put in place a rescue package which will enable British horticulture to survive. Without it, our gardens and open spaces – a vital source of solace and nutrition to those at home – will suffer irreparable damage.”

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