Covid-19 update Tuesday 31st March

Essential retailers remain open for garden products while Plants Galore hits out at unfair lockdown.  The HTA pleas for financial support for growers while vandals hit North Yorkshire nursery.

Essential Retailers remain open while garden centres are closed

Cherry Lane Garden Centres, who had remained trading when other garden centres closed, has now closed despite claiming its is classified as an essential retailer. “It has come to a point where the wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is more important than anything else.  We have made the very difficult decision to temporarily close all of our stores, despite our classification as an essential retailer.”

After being designated an essential retailer by the government, Wilko has said that all of its stores will remain open throughout the coronavirus crisis.

To protect its staff and customers, the retailer has temporarily removed ‘pick n mix’ confectionery from sale in-store. It has also introduced enhanced cleaning practices, physical distancing, quantity controls and queue marshalls.

The Range has also had confirmation from Trading Standards that ‘we should remain open during this period of uncertainty for the communities that we serve. We are a value retailer and understand that a lot of our customers rely on us to provide essential items like food and groceries, pet food and veterinary items, non-prescription items, toilet rolls, cleaning products.’

B&M, selling an extensive range of products for enjoying the garden, says it is also open during the current crisis in line with government guidance.

Plants Galore hits out at 'unfair' lockdown

Plants Galore was the first garden centre to be served a coronavirus prohibition notice after complaints it was selling flowers and seeds in breach of strict public health restrictions.

Now the owner of the Exeter garden centre has hit out at the 'unfair' lockdown notice which could destroy its business says a report on Devon Live.  "It cannot be fair that we are prohibited from selling these products while the local authority continues to allow other retailers to sell identical products on our doorstep."

HTA presents case to save horticulture

The HTA has presented its case to Government that the horticultural sector could be wiped out by the UK Coronavirus shut down in just weeks.  Its call for a financial support scheme has also been highlighted across the BBC by Business Editor Simon Jack and Alan Titchmarsh.

Among the case studies is this video by MD of Kernock Park Plants, Bruce Harnett, He calls for a scrappage compensation scheme for nurseries otherwise they will have to close to stop haemorrhaging money possibly never to reopen again.

Plants have been ruined by thieves

Tens of thousands of plants have been ruined by thieves who broke into a commercial nursery in North Yorkshire.

The plants were run over by a dumper truck stolen from Johnson's of Whixley, Harrogate.  The break-in happened on Thursday night.  Managing director Graham Richardson told said that the vandals drove the truck over tens of thousands of plants which were growing in readiness for next year, "because they could and they felt like it".  See more.

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