The environment matters to us and we are committed to minimising our environmental impact and meeting all of our legal obligations, while running a profitable wholesale nursery grounded within our local community. Some examples of how we help the environment and our community are shown below. Being accredited BOPP members and members of LEAF, we use those frameworks to help us in ensuring we are legally compliant and following industry best practice wherever possible
PLANTS FOR WILDLIFE– Across our product ranges we sell many varieties that are of great benefit to many forms of wildlife. Binsted’s native plants include cowslip, primrose and snakeshead fritillary in Spring, and as Summer wildflowers for bees and butterflies, herbs such as marjoram. Walberton grow such genus as Verbena, Lavender and Nepeta, which are great for attracting butterflies and bees.
WATER & ENERGY – In 2015 Walberton Nursery invested in solar panels and three new rainwater attenuation tanks. The 134 solar panels now provide 30kw solar power, 16% of the total electricity required for the main site, and the tanks can hold 750,000 m3 of water collected off the new glasshouse, which is enough water to last three days in the peak of summer.
A clay lined reservoir was built in 2015 to supply Binsted Nursery with most of its irrigation water from rain, at the same time recycling run-off and preventing flooding. Water is pumped into it from a flood-pond and about 1km of open ditches, which act as reservoirs for rain harvesting, flood control and wildlife habitat. The grasslands around these features have been planted with native wildflowers and are seasonally grazed by sheep. Click here for details of the scheme
These investments help our business to manage the precious water sources that provide much of our irrigation water.
WILDLIFE HABITATS– Wildlife conservation is something that Binsted and Walberton care about, and we are proud of our achievements so far in this area. Across our sites we encourage wildlife through the creation of no spray zones and conservation areas, create and maintain wildlife habitats and landscaped plantings, manage wild areas in order to protect local wildlife and staff are encouraged to record wildlife sightings. Types of habitats around our sites that attract a range of wildlife include wild flower areas, mature gardens, ponds and lagoons which house a number of waterfowl families, and the wetland area adjacent to the reservoir which was quickly inhabited by waders upon completion in 2016.
ICM – In addition to our active management of wild areas, other ways in which we seek to protect wildlife as much as possible is by working within an Integrated Crop Management (ICM) Framework. This utilises biological controls, novel green pesticides and best hygiene practices which reduce the risk of harm to the environment and wildlife and also greatly reduce the risk of plant health issues.
MATERIALS & RECYCLING– Both Binsted and Walberton are careful to comply with relevant legislation in this area, and strive to recycle or reuse as much as possible. We recycle many of our waste streams including pots and trays, polythene films, pallets and cardboard. We compost our food waste from staff canteens, which is used on the staff garden. Through the BOPP audit process we have implemented a rigorous materials supplier risk assessment process that ensures we source materials from sustainable sources, for example, sourcing peat only from suppliers whose material comes from non-SSSI sites.
CHARITY & COMMUNITY – Binsted and Walberton Nursery are both involved in local and national charity work, and in bringing together the local community. Each year, surplus Spring bulbs are donated to community groups and charities locally, to add a bit of Spring colour to the local area. We are often approached to donate plants to raise money at local fayres, and fund raisers and are happy to be involved. Binsted have sponsored the Binsted Arts Festival, whose overall theme is rural life in Sussex, and celebrates the Binsted countryside.
Both Walberton and Binsted staff help to sell our plants to raise money for local charities at the Binsted Strawberry Fair. The Fair is a well-attended, traditional event, whose proceeds go to causes such as Binsted Church repairs and Sussex Search and Rescue. Walberton are also proud Bronze Partners of Perennial, the only UK charity dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture when times get tough. Proprietor Mike Tristram has founded and thanks to the nurseries is able to support two local charities, Maves (Mid Arun Valley Environmental Survey) and Sussex Traditions, and maintains the community website for Binsted Village. We support local schools including the Community Playcentre at Walberton with plants to sell for their fundraising.