The environment matters to us. We are committed to minimising our environmental impact and meeting all of our legal obligations, while running a profitable wholesale nursery. Some examples of how we help the environment are shown below. Being accredited OHAS 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.
WILDLIFE HABITATS – Wildlife conservation is something that the Tristram Plants nurseries really 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 Binsted’s reservoir which was quickly inhabited by waders upon completion in 2016.
We commission and review external Biodiversity audits to help us learn how to best manage these habitats for the benefit of wildlife, alongside our large scale production facilities.
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 litres 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
3.5 acres of Fleurie Nursery are irrigated by water efficient low level irrigation which represents 25% of their production area, and in 2021 two new rainwater tanks were installed both holding 500m3 each.
These investments help our business to manage the precious water sources that provide much of our irrigation water.
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 as the primary control option. They reduce the risk of harm to the environment and wildlife and also greatly reduce the risk of plant health issues.
MATERIALS & RECYCLING – Tristram Plants nurseries 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 OHAS 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.
Walberton Nursery already recycled old mobile phones and print cartridges, but in 2021 also started recycling staff crisp packets, biscuit wrappers and used pens through Terracycle. In the first 6 months of the trial, approximately 570 crisp packets were recycled instead of being sent to landfill, that’s more than a kilo.
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 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, and Skimmia and Callicarpa whose berries help feed birds in Winter. Fleurie introduced a new wildflower range in 2018, consisting of 20 varieties, 3 of which are classed Near Threatened by the BSBI (Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland), and are keen to improve and expand the range.