Caring for our environment
Take a look at some of the ways in which we are trying to be more environmentally friendly
Here at Bell Plantation we hold a strong belief that gardening brings huge green benefits to the earth. At a basic level, plants clean air and release oxygen whilst absorbing carbon dioxide and other pollutants. They also attract insects, which are a key part of our ecosystem.
But plants are not enough! We also must look at what we, as a company, are doing to improve our green credentials. Here are some of the ways in which we are trying to be more environmentally friendly.
In 2014 we installed a biomass boiler which generates heat for the garden centre and café and a number of tenants. The boiler runs on wood pellets and produces a fraction of the emissions of fossil fuels. When biomass fuels are combusted, they release only the same amount of carbon which was consumed by the growing plant. These carbon levels are consistent and sustainable because the fuel source is replanted after it has been harvested.
Where possible we have installed solar panels to the roofs of our buildings which significantly contribute towards the electricity supply for the garden centre, café and some tenants, again reducing our carbon footprint. Our solar panels output 60kw (60,000w) – to give you an idea of what this really means, it would power an electric dishwasher for approximately 60 loads, a washing machine for 52 loads (warm wash, cold rinse cycle) and fully charge a Nissan Leaf Electric Car 3 times.
In 2019 we committed to using Oxo-biodegradable netting for our fresh Christmas trees. A prodegradant additive has been added during the manufacturing of this netting which means that in the presence of oxygen, and at the end of its useful life, the netting will break degrade and then biodegrade leaving no microplastics behind.
For any customers wanting a bag for their purchased goods, we promote the use of brown paper bags, and the boot liners we provide are also bio-degradable.
In 2019 we introduced our own range of Jute reuseable shopping bags to further encourage more environmentally friendly practises.
Where possible, our wood products are from suppliers who use timber from well-managed forests with long-term, responsible management plans.
Whilst most plant pots are made from recyclable Polypropolene, many local authorities won’t accept them. Our plant suppliers are increasingly using fully recyclable pots and trays for plants and these are identifiable by their taupe colour.
We use paper straws and the boxes for our children’s meals are also recyclable.
Peat based composts have been used by gardeners for many years, however, with growing concern over peat extraction and its effect on the environment, many gardeners are now looking for alternatives. We promote the use of peat-free compost by offering these alternatives at prices which are the same or similar to peat-based products.
There are times when a chemical treatment is required in the garden, however often there are more natural alternatives to pesticides. For example, we offer a range of animal and insect repellants that are environmentally friendly.
Within our Food Hall, many of our products are sourced from local suppliers – either within Northamptonshire or neighbouring counties, in an effort to reduce food miles.
In the garden centre, one of our main plant suppliers is based in Leighton Buzzard, just 23 miles away.
We have a strong desire to introduce children to gardening and its benefits from a very young age and therefore actively support request from local schools for plants, seeds and small tools. We also regularly run events during the school holidays including decorating bird houses, bug observation jars, bulb planting and more.
We are also proud to support community projects which look to create green spaces for local residents.
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01327 354 126
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Garden Centre, Food Hall & Poultry Centre
Mon-Sat: 9am to 5:30pm
Sunday: 10:30am to 4:30pm
Mon to Sat: 9 am- 5 pm
Sun: 10:00 am-4:00 pm