Herefordshire-based Allensmore Nurseries have won the coveted LEAF Accreditation following their investments in sustainable production methods and facilities, and rigorous inspections across their business to ensure compliance with the exacting standards required to achieve the marque.
LEAF accreditation requires holders of the marque to demonstrate their on-going commitment to producing crops using sustainable methods and in ways that enrich the environment and engages with their local communities.
Over the past 5 years, Allensmore Nurseries has increased its production area by nearly two thirds and by the beginning of next year this will have expanded to 100 acres of both covered and outdoor production.
Underpinning this huge expansion is the family-owned business’s total commitment to ensuring the utmost care for the environment and managing biodiversity throughout its production processes.
Allensmore have invested heavily in state-of-the-art water management systems across their entire production areas, including recycling and rainwater capture, and the construction of a 5-million-gallon reservoir which is to be linked to an additional 5-million-gallon reservoir being constructed in the coming year.
Over the past 6 years, Allensmore Nurseries have been working hard to reduce the amount of peat they use in their compost mixes, to date they have reduced this by 40%. They continue to develop new compost mixes to reduce their peat use further still.
Landscaping enhancements on their outdoor production areas include hundreds of metres of new indigenous species hedging and tree plantings, together with wildflower seeding of soil banks around the sites’ perimeters.
This major investment is designed to ensure the establishment of protected wildlife environments, especially for pollinators and birds, including a number which appear on the RSPB’s “Red List” of severely endangered species, among which are Ringed Plovers, Skylarks and Yellow Wagtails, all three of which are regular visitors to the Allensmore Madley 50-acre production site.
Allensmore MD, Mark Taylor, said, “Attaining our LEAF accreditation is a proud moment for us all at Allensmore and builds on our long-standing BOPP certification to take our company to even higher levels of plant production best practice.
"Throughout our programme of large scale expansion, we have continued to take the utmost care in enhancing the biodiversity around our three production sites and making investment in providing natural habitats for wildlife.
"We have a total commitment throughout our business to produce our plants in the most sustainable way and reduce the impact on the environment.”