Covid-19 Wednesday update 2

Dobbies close all its stores, BALI advises landscapers to cease trading for 48 hours, and Perennial reminds the industry that it is the safety net for people in the industry needing help at this time.

Dobbies falls in line with other garden centre groups

Dobbies has announced that ‘following updated guidance from the Government, our stores will temporarily close with immediate effect.

‘The welfare of our customers and team members is, and will always remain, our number one priority.’


BALI has been seeking clarification and additional guidance from the Government for those working in the landscaping sector. It wants answers to the crucial question many landscape professionals have been asking; can I still go to work?

In light of the lack of a response from the Government, BALI is taking the necessary measures to protect its members’ staff and their clients by recommending all BALI member businesses temporarily cease trading for a period of 48 hours, essentially, imploring members not to go out to work. This does not apply to those deemed as essential landscaping services.

The HTA however says, “For landscapers and manufacturers, there is slightly more clarity – that these activities are not prevented from operating. However, members should carefully continue to follow the Government guidance around the need for essential travel.”

HTA continues to lobby Government

The HTA said last night it ‘continues to press the Government and other trade bodies for clarity on whether garden centres are able to operate – the classification from Government of ‘home and hardware’, pet stores and food stores could all potentially apply in some cases, but we are seeking that guidance, which has not, as yet, been forthcoming. Home deliveries and online deliveries can operate, but as long as the public health guidance is followed to protect staff and customers.’

Perennial prepares for increase in demand as Coronavirus hits UK horticulture workers and businesses

Perennial is the safety net for people in the horticulture industry and is here to help anyone working in, or retired from any job involving trees, plants, flowers or grass. As the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continue to evolve for the horticulture industry, Perennial is urging anyone who is worried or has questions about how it will affect them, or their family, to get in touch. The team’s clear message is ‘we’re in this together’ and wants everyone in the industry to know they are here to support you. Perennial’s helpline is operating as usual on 0800 093 8543 or visit for the latest updates.

Perennial’s team of professional, highly trained caseworkers and debt advisers can:

  1. help people understand and get access to government arrangements for financial support
  2. help people make arrangements to reduce or delay bill payments, including credit debts where necessary
  3. provide financial assistance to cover essential items, particularly food and heating

Mr Fothergill’s Press Day

Mr Fothergill’s Press Day this year in August has been cancelled. “A great shame but the only realistic decision to make in these uncertain and worrying times. If we grow anything this year it is likely to be only QC trials. Meanwhile seed sales are very strong and we are flat out on a 24 hour operation keeping up with demand while trying to keep our employees safe. Same situation in our Australian business.”

Blue Diamond

Having closed its UK mainland garden centres yesterday, le Friquet on the island of Guernsey follows suit.


PATS has announced that it will support exhibitors wherever it can with a series of marketing measures designed to help UK pet product suppliers. PATS will be using its large database or more than 13,000 contacts, including pet retailers, wholesaler, international distributors, garden centres, farm shops, groomers, kennels and catteries, and other pet professionals, to send targeted communications. Details of new product launches, deals and discounts, and other newsworthy items will be included in a series of e-shots

Flower Trials cancelled

The FlowerTrials Board in Holland has decided not to wait for the previously announced deadline of April 6th, but has taken the collective decision to cancel the FlowerTrials event in week 24 with immediate effect.

A Facebook post by Kernock Park Plants appeals for early warning

Two days ago: In the past week or so, we like other growers have been dealing with an unprecedented level of cancellations, reductions and requested delays to plant orders as some customers have started to anticipate closure, or perceive potential lack of trade in their own situations…

If there is a need to make any changes or cancellations to your confirmed orders and secondly, where there is a necessity to make changes, we would be grateful to know as soon as possible in order to prevent further time and capital afforded to produce which might never be required.

Government loans

Paul Basham writes: Lloyds is the first bank for which we have seen CoBILS guidance published today:

B&Q stores remain closed

B&Q stores remain closed for a second day while it continues to work out the safest and simplest way to support customers in providing only those essential products that keep houses warm, safe and with power.

Homebase remains open

Following the Government advice issued this week for home and hardware shops, Homebase stores across the UK will remain open. While we will continue to provide products and services for people to ensure their homes are safe and comfortable, the safety of our team members, customers and local communities is our first priority.

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