Thirty tree and plant growers from across the UK came together at the Horticultural Trades Association’s (HTA) Nursery Network Peat-Free event recently to exchange views, experience and knowledge on growing peat-free. The event was hosted by Hillier Nurseries in Romsey near Southampton and included a tour of their mature tree and container crop production sites.
Guests also heard several presentations, including:
- The politics of peat-free – David Lydiat of the HTA
- The manufacturer’s lot – Keith Nicholson of Sinclair/Westland
- Transition to peat-free at Hillier Nurseries – Charles Carr, Hillier Nurseries
- Supporting the peat-free transition – Dr Raghavendra Prasad and Prof Alistair Griffiths.
The event was organised by Wayne Brough of the HTA, who explained it was immediately oversubscribed by those from across the industry who wanted to join the session showing the HTA’s and its members’ commitment to peat-free. However, there are still significant challenges to overcome, meaning that Defra’s proposed deadline for a ban for professional growers in 2026 comes too soon.