04 November 2020
DIDCOT, UK: Garden Centres in England and Scotland can continue to trade through the UK’s national lockdown starting this Thursday, 5 November. Wales, however, have not permitted it though for some reason. It seems that the massive lobby effort mounted by the industry has managed to convince UK politicians of the idea that open garden centres bring much needed mental and physical benefits as people are increasingly feel trapped inside their four walls. Garden centres than can continue to trade will also bring some joy at Christmas in these very difficult times for the country.
Speaking to media news outlet GTN Extra last night, James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) highlighted the sector’s economic weight, “Our sector is an economic driver for the UK. This decision allows us to help the country out of any economic downturn.”
He added that HTA support Government efforts to contain and eradicate Covid so that “we can all get back to normal as soon as possible. We are pleased that garden centres are listed as essential. Members have taken significant steps to implement first-class social distancing and other safe trading guidance, helping to boost customers’ confidence in visiting garden centres.”
Clark went on to say that there is no doubt, however that this further lockdown will impact the industry. “2020 has been incredibly difficult for the whole sector and while we’ve seen a strong bounce back from lockdown in March, it is still fragile. We will continue to remind Governments across the nations of the important socio-economic role our industry provides, along with how gardening, plants and green spaces help manage our mental and physical wellbeing. We know that our members will be doing their utmost to provide the excellent service and warm welcome people will be looking for as they prepare for the different festive period of 2020.”