In This Issue
Much loved industry figure passes away after cancer battle
OBE's for Colin Squire and John Athwal
Rachel Doyle of Arboretum scoops Retail Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award
Bunnings UK boss to take a three month break
New Year Greetings to all our readers
When will the For Sale sign go up at Wyevale GCs?
So what went on behind closed doors at the Wyevale suppliers meeting.?
Rising Stars 2017 - The final 12
Owners of garden centre face £21,000 bill after selling 'dangerous' items
Wyevale Garden Centres announces shift away from acquisitions
Wyevale Garden Centres named on 'worst to work for' list
Sad news - Alistair Lorimer dies
Durston Garden Products HOLD prices for 2018
New display ideas, new products, new suppliers at Bunnings first UK garden centre - GTN Xtra picture exclusive
Retail ops restructured as going gets tough for Wyevale GCs
All eyes will be on how Wyevale GCs plans to replace 'unsustainable' growth strategy with core business focus
Sir Terry and Mr M...unfinished business at Dobbies?
Mothers Day bonanza as garden centre records are broken across the country
We cleared out Homebase management too quickly, confesses parent company's new CEO
Carol Paris is leaving the HTA
Dobbies "gets together with Ocado to be the best on-line"
Nicholas Marshall is back in the gardening industry as CEO of Dobbies
Newshound finds Mr M has been busy recruiting 'experience'...
Terra Firma props up Wyevale Garden Centres
So this is what a Bunnings Warehouse looks like...
A bittersweet moment says Scott CEO as he announces UK, Europe and Aussie sell-off
Gardman reports £1.5m loss - but earnings soar by 50%
Blue Diamond buys Bridgford Garden Centre
Exponent Private Equity to buy Scotts business in UK, Europe and Australia
Brothers sell £15m Yarnton Nurseries business
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Westland win Sword of Excellence with SafeLawn
Is this the smallest garden centre in the UK?
Glee to hold two shows per year from 2018 onwards
Garden retailers sign up to industry Xylella statement
Marshall's strategy for Dobbies to put focus back on plants
Woodlodge win GCA Associate of the year Award
"The Best Glee for Years" - Retailers verdict on this years show
"Xylella is the most serious situation I have come across in 32 years in the industry"
MEP's vote to ban glyphosate completely by 2022
Blisters, tomatoes, over 100 walkers and runners raise over £22k on Garden Re-Leaf Day
Coolings buys Potted Garden Nursery at Maidstone
Exclusive pictures from Bunnings' biggest store yet
New men at the top at Hillier
Xylella fastidiosa: how Italy has tackled the problem
Town & Country is sold to EP Barrus
Supplier rebates to exceed £1.5m for Choice members
"Garden Centre of the Future" planned for new outlet retail centre at Downtown Grantham
Bunnings UK No. 3 - Hemel Hempstead in pictures
Shoplifting costs retailers £800m a year says research
Scotts: We want out of Europe...but we won't give the business away
New trade show will demonstrate how to cater for vegans
Historic exhibition and new branding for Dobbies
Exciting new-build garden centre underway
Bunnings - Homebase - sales drop by £44m
Glyphosate licence approved for 5 years
2017: A year of transition for the garden centre trade
Top 50 most-read stories in GTN Xtra 2017
Situations Vacant
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"Xylella is the most serious situation I have come across in 32 years in the industry"
No 33 Most Read Story 2017. First published: Sunday 8 October, 2017

The potentially catastrophic consequences for the UK’s horticultural industry of an outbreak of the bacterial plant disease Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) were spelled out in a stark warning to growers and retailers at last week’s HTA Futures Conference.


During a panel debate, Hillview Garden Centres CEO Boyd Douglas-Davies (right) described it as the most serious situation he had come across in his 32 years in the industry. It was a wake-up call that had resulted in his businesses starting to take plant health more seriously.


The disease has already devastated horticulture in southern Italy and has spread to Corsica, southern France and Spain. There is no known control and severely affected plants can die within three years. Thousands of plants on those regions have already been destroyed.


In the event of an outbreak in the UK, an exclusion zone of 10km would be imposed for five years. It has been likened to “foot and mouth” in horticulture, affecting growers, retailers and consumers alike.


Dan Munro (second left) from the UK’s Animal and Plant Healthy Agency said the disease was sure to spread and spread, with new cold-hardy strains posing a threat to the UK should it reach our shores. It could even be brought on the boot of a holidaymaker.


Douglas-Davies urged the industry not to wait for official action or it could be too late. “We have to act now as individual companies and be far ahead of the industry as a whole, which can only keep up with the slowest member. There is no time to wait for official bodies to do their bit,” he said.


The HTA’s Raoul Curtis-Machin (left) said businesses should take extra care in sourcing their plants and urged British growers to start growing more of their own material to ensure bio-security.  He suggested the HTA could support calls for some kind of official compensation scheme for businesses caught up in an outbreak.


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