Recycling and minimising waste:

  • Cardboard boxes from packaging is recycled by offering it to customers at the tills, to package their plants and products in
  • All additional cardboard is sent for recycling
  • Our customer carrier bags are biodegradable
  • Our plastic packaging and general waste is collected by a local waste management company who sort and recycle as much as possible·
  • Pallets, which many of our goods arrive on, go back to be reused where possible·
  • We buy in many plants which come on metal trolleys which are reused by our suppliers·
  • Plant waste is made into compost, and used on site in flower beds·
  • Plastic plant pots are sent away to be recycled, when they reach the end of their life
  • We use paper straws in our coffee shop and restaurant

Saving electricity, water and fuel

  • The shop and coffee shop have under floor heating which is put on early in the day so that it is only heated when it is being used·
  • We put our store and car park lighting on timers or motion sensors, so that they only come on when needed (and when it is dark)·
  • We have converted the majority of our light fittings to LED to reduce our energy usage·
  • Our production area is carefully monitored by computer and we keep plants which need heat altogether in the same greenhouse(s) so we can heat as little space as possible·
  • We replace leaky hoses and equipment to reduce loss of water from leaks, and use irrigation systems for our trees and hanging baskets, which are extremely efficient·
  • We use captured rain water to irrigate our houseplants as much as possible
  • We have installed cycle racks for customers and staff, which are very well used, and there is a bus stop outside·
  • Our newest buildings have provision for rain water capture in the future

Product and food sourcing

  • We grow all our own bedding and basket plants, and some pot plants and perennials, accounting for around one third of the plants we sell. These are grown on site so there is no fuel needed to transport them, and we only grow what we need so we minimise waste
  • We source as many plants and products as we can from British nurseries and suppliers – look out for the ‘British Grown’ symbol.
  • We avoid products which are low quality, and which will end up in landfill
  • All the food in our coffee shop is home cooked on site every day. We use local ingredients as much as we can, including meat, fish, vegetables and bread
  • Many of our garden furniture suppliers are part of the Made Aware scheme, which enables members of the LOFA (Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association) to progressively improve the environmental and social impacts of the products they sell. Look out for the made aware symbol on several of the garden furniture items we sell.
  • We buy products in bulk, to reduce the number of deliveries
  • We will introduce new ranges of organic plants and products into our product ranges as they become available to us
  • We are actively looking for new products to help our customers recycle and garden organically

Perrywood FSC Policy

  • We only sell wooden goods from reputable companies that source sustainable wood
  • Many of our products contain the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) logo which guarantees the wood used has come from forests managed with consideration for people, wildlife and the environment, and that the trees harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally
  • At Perrywood we are striving towards all wooden products carrying the FSC logo

Improving the local environment

  • We own Perry Wood, adjacent to the garden centre, and actively encourage wildlife by planting trees, leaving piles of dead wood for insects and mammals, nest boxes, planting wild flowers (snowdrops, primulas). We have seen owls, muntjac deer, hares and more…
  • We have mixed native plants in hedges at the edges of our site, which are very beneficial for wildlife
  • We have kept many trees and hedges on site
  • Our plant area is a great habitat for many types of bird and animal, and we regular see robins, blackbirds, frogs and toads. Each spring we see birds nesting in our trees, shrubs and buildings and even have a nest box with camera on our coffee shop, so visitors can watch as the eggs hatch out!
  • We have four ponds on site, which are home to frogs, fish, toads, numerous insects and birds
  • We are a corporate member of the Essex Wildlife Trust, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Butterfly Conservation Trust
  • We have a full programme of natural pest control in our production area, reducing the need for pesticides

Perrywood Peat policy

  • We offer our customers a wide range of compost: Peat Free Compost, Reduced Peat Compost and 100% Peat Compost
  • We sell organic and peat free composts year-round
  • The majority of the compost we sell is Reduced Peat Compost (containing 40-70% peat content)
  • We have not yet found a peat free alternative to use in our growing area, but we are conducting trials of non-peat compost and will continue to look at ways of reducing peat within our nursery

Supporting the community

  • We employ around 150 people from the local area
  • We have three charities we are actively supporting in 2017: Mid and North Essex Mind, Marie Curie and Greenfingers
  • We regularly donate raffle prizes to charities, clubs and schools
  • We can be booked for talks on the ‘History of Perrywood’
  • We love working with schools, to encourage young people to get into gardening
  • We attend local careers events, to support job seekers
  • We run gardening clubs for 4-10 year olds in some of the school holidays

Reducing pesticide use

At Perrywood we pay considerable attention to pest control to ensure our methods minimise any risk to human health and the environment. We adopt an integrated pest management program which combines biological, cultural and chemical pest control methods. This approach aims to keep the need for chemical controls to a minimum. Any chemicals we use have been fully tested and approved under EU and UK law and are only applied by highly trained staff.

We are fully supportive of any research that provides scientific evidence relating to the use of pesticides, including the use of neonicotinoids. We continue to be guided by the HTA on all matters associated with pesticide use.

We welcome your ideas!

If you have an idea of how we can further reduce the impact our business has on the environment please let us know by emailing