After a few years of high staff turnover in the area of Crop Protection, Walberton Nursery’s Technical Department are now in a very strong position. Crop Protection is a very specialist area and finding staff to fill these positions can often be difficult. Following the appointments of Paul Dyer (Technical Manager) and Stephen Carr (Assistant Technical Manager) in 2018, Walberton tried a new approach of recruiting from within the team, and offering a development opportunity to it’s already established staff. The creation of a hybrid Grower/Crop Protection position has opened up new possibilities for two existing members of staff, Jeff Wilson and James Hosie. Jeff and James both valued their involvement in general nursery work, and were reluctant to commit to a 100% role in Crop Protection, so this opportunity suited their aspirations for progression down to the ground.
Late in 2018 both Jeff and James qualified for PA1 and PA6a, (Safe Use of Hand Held Pesticide Application Equipment Knapsack) followed more recently by a qualification to PA9 level (Safe Use of Pesticide by Mist Application). Shaun Buglar, who came to Walberton in 2018, has also been appointed to a new Grower/Crop Protection position, and also gained his PA9 alongside Jeff and James.
Walberton Nursery implements a widespread biological control programme as part of its Integrated Pest Management programme (by the use of predatory insects and/or many new bio-insecticides and bio-fungicides). Use of biological control is regarded as the primary control option, and will always be used first. When traditional chemicals have to be used, Walberton will always make sure that they use the least toxic product whenever practical, and wherever possible use an active ingredient that ensures that the biological program can be reintroduced as soon as possible. This approach assists in causing minimal impact on the environment, human health, and on beneficial and non-target species.
Walberton now have a highly qualified, multi-faceted team to help deliver it’s Integrated Pest Management programme.