Plant nursery launches delivery service to minimise waste stock

Ravensworth Nurseries director Matthew Bradbrook waters the plants.

Ravensworth Nurseries has launched a delivery service to try and find homes for its stock rather than have to throw plants away.

The company fears being left with thousands of plants it can’t sell due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a bid to sell some of its stock which it has been growing since last year, it has set up a new delivery service.

Owner Fiona Dean said: “We are growers. Without nurseries like ourselves there wouldn’t be plants in garden centres or for online sales.

“We have to plan our growing program weeks ahead. It’s approximately ten to 12 weeks from seed to sale.

“Plants that would normally be selling during the months ahead have been in production since January, some varieties such as the ever popular non stop begonia have been sown since late December before COVID 19 was even heard about.

“Unfortunately there is no way of stopping them growing. All that can be done is to try and maintain them.

“A lot of stock will be thrown out as there are no sales outlet for them — this will be on a massive scale.”

Fiona said gardening had been promoted by the Government as an activity that could be done while self isolating, and meant people could be out in the fresh air and doing some exercise while still at home.

“The perishability and seasonality of plants means that we potentially face total stock write off, unlike that of any other industry.

“Even if they’re put out for people to takeaway, that would seen as encouraging people to travel, which the thing that we’re all trying to avoid.

“As most of us working here are horticulturalists and plant lovers at heart, there is nothing worse for us to see than the plants we love go to waste.

“So we’ve launched a contactless delivery system to satisfy our customers.

“The idea is that payment can be made over the phone, then our drivers can deliver without contact with the customer, following Government guidelines, for everyone’s safety.”

A new on-line shop has been set up by Richmond-based Reflections Media.

To place an order visit http://ravensworthnurseries.localdelivery.org.uk/

Customers can also phone 01325 718370 to place an order or visit the company’s Facebook page here.