Jennifer Pheasey, director of public affairs at the UK’s Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) says she is encouraged that Defra has taken into consideration carbon, regulating temperatures, flood resilience and reducing noise and air pollution when calculating the value of UK trees outside of woodlands.
£3.8bn is a significant sum of money, Pheasay says, and this report highlights the hugely valuable contribution environmental horticulture makes to everyday lives in communities across the UK. These are some of the most topical challenges our country faces and our sector is playing a leading role in helping to solve them.
“On top of Defra’s calculation following National Tree Week, it is important to also consider the additional benefit that plants and flowers have. The UK’s tree and plant growers, and garden retailers are working hard to produce and market the flora we desperately need. But these are challenging times for horticulture businesses. The Horticultural Trades Association represents 1,500 such businesses across the entire UK supply chain. We have seen first-hand the impact of rising energy costs, uncertainty over a peat use ban and regulatory changes, difficulties importing plant goods and not being able to access the workforce required. Therefore, it is vital that Defra and the wider government – who have themselves calculated the huge benefit of just part of our sector – support and work with us to mitigate and resolve these difficulties for 2023 and beyond. Environmental horticulture businesses need certainty on these key issues to be able to produce the trees and plants at the quality and scale that the UK needs.”