Garden Centres in Scotland and Wales, where garden centres are currently not allowed to open, need our support with their petitions to devolved governments to allow them to re-open as soon as possible.
Spearheaded by HTA Council Representatives Nicola Pugh of Pugh’s Garden Centres in South Wales and Helen MacDonald from Merryhatton Garden Centre in Scotland they are calling for garden centres to be reopened for trading, as is the case in England.
Ornamental horticulture businesses in Wales have been unable to trade since lockdown restrictions on non-essential retail were put in place on 20th December and now, with the key Spring season and key trading dates of St David’s Day and Mother’s Day just weeks away, concern is beginning to turn to desperation as growers still have no idea what crops will be able to make it to the sales area.
Nicola Pugh, HTA Council representative for Wales, and owner of Pugh’s Garden Centre, said: “We fully understand the need to protect public health and support the government in its determination to fight the spread of Covid, but horticultural businesses are being pushed to the brink at what should be our busiest time of year.
“Plants and gardening offer incredible health and wellbeing benefits and if we are to meet the demand when reopening is possible, we need a timeline to help us manage the supply chain of perishable and seasonal crops and minimise the impact of continued uncertainty.”
On Thursday (18/2) the Government met to review the impact of lockdown and the HTA is calling for Ministers to properly consider the re-opening of garden centres.
Commenting on the situation in Scotland Helen MacDonald from Merryhatton Garden Centre comments, “The First Minister didn't mention gardeners in her review on 16 February and as Spring is rapidly approaching, it is increasingly urgent that Scottish Government allow Scottish Garden Centres and nurseries to open. We can open safely and the benefits for health and well-being will be enormous. Please keep sharing this with friends, family, colleagues - indeed anyone you can think of!
To sign the petition to the Welsh Parliament follow this link: https://petitions.senedd.wales/petitions/244681
To sign the petition to the Scottish Parliament follow this link: https://www.change.org/ReopenScottishGardenCentres