Growing Expertise Since 1864

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Committed to Good Environmental Practice

We take our responsibility to the environment very seriously. From plastic use to recycling, find answers to some common questions here. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please view all FAQs or contact us using our online form.

Environment FAQs

Do you recycle plant pots at your Garden Centres

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer a plastic pot recycling at this time. Our recommendation would be to donate old plastic pots to local schools or community groups who may have use for the pots for their own planting needs or for arts and crafts projects.

Plants grown on our own Hillier Nurseries are now available in taupe / grey pots, which can be recycled along with your kerbside recycling.

How are you reducing plastic use in your Garden Centres?

We are all incredibly aware of the need to reduce plastic use and particularly single-use plastic. We strive to keep plastic use to a minimum and are introducing recyclable options wherever possible.

Our nurseries were one of the first to introduce kerbside recyclable non-black plant pots in spring 2019. You can now find these in wide use at our garden centres.

In our Restaurants, we have changed our disposable plastics to compostable materials; this includes our disposable cups, lids, and straws. All of these are made from plant-based materials, such as trees, corn and sugar cane.

We have worked with our greeting card supplier to remove plastic packaging from our range, including 100% of Christmas cards now not being plastic packaged. Calendars will also not be plastic packaged from 2021.

You can read more about our efforts to reduce plastic use on the environment page of this website.

What is your policy on peat-free?

We are committed to removing peat across all areas of the business; however, we must be careful to ensure peat is replaced with a sustainable alternative and not simply replaced with a product that is further damaging to the environment.

As the largest UK grower of semi-mature trees, our tree production has been 100% peat-free for a number of years.

Production of all other plants across our nurseries has moved from 75% peat-free in 2020 to over 90% peat-free for 2021. Our goal is to move to 100% peat-free production. Ensuring a sufficient supply of peat-free growing media is available is one part of achieving this.

We have introduced an expanded peat-free range in our Garden Centres including in spring 2020 our Hillier Peat-Free Multipurpose Compost to give the customer a clear choice. We will be further expanding our range of peat-free options for 2022 as well as continuing to reduce the peat content of existing products with our suppliers.

You can read more about our approach to going peat free on the environment page of this website.

Do you use neonicotinoids on your nurseries?

No. We advocate a natural-first approach to gardening.

On our nurseries, we do not use neonicotinoids as part of crop management. We have a system of Integrated Crop Management (ICM), which has greatly reduced any use of chemicals to control pests and diseases. ICM uses environmental and biological controls wherever possible –making use of natural predators and parasites as pest control and using chemicals with a low environmental impact.

In our garden centres, we do not sell any products containing neonicotinoids and have not done since 2018. We offer a large range of natural gardening products at all Hillier Garden Centres, including certified organic options, giving our customers choice about the way they want to care for their garden.

You can read more about our position on neonicotinoids and other chemicals on the environment page of this website.

What steps are you taking to support bee populations and other important wildlife?

We recognise the importance of our entire ecosystem and that many species of wildlife – in particular, the likes of bees, butterflies and native mammals such as hedgehogs – are under threat. We encourage approaches that can benefit the ecosystem and are likely to increase wildlife numbers.

In our Garden Centres, we have an extensive range of plants for pollinators and, in the wildlife sections of our Garden Centres, we offer an array of wildlife feeds and habitats.

We frequently share advice and inspiration on creating wildlife-friendly gardens, including input from recognised external experts.

We grow 750,000 trees across our field and container tree nurseries, some of which remain in our fields for 25 years+ bringing great benefits to local wildlife. Our tree range includes a wide variety of native trees, all of which sustain an incredible ecosystem. A mature English oak for example can support over 4,000 different species of insects and animals.

You can read more about how we are supporting our precious ecosystem on the environment page of this website.

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