Plantscape’s bee friendly range to be available for towns and BIDs from 2020

Plantscape’s new bee friendly range of planters, piloted by Birmingham’s fashionable Harborne Village, will be available for towns and BID groups across the UK from the summer of 2020.

The range was developed following a request from Harborne Village BID for displays which would combine aesthetic appeal with environmental enhancement.

And the planters, which contain flowers from the RHS list of approved Plants for Pollinators, are proving extremely popular with residents and visitors.

Plants available will include guara, verbena, lavender, heather, aster, fuschia, speedwell, and capitata.

BID manager Kate Smart was delighted with the results: “With the global concern about depleting insect numbers we gathered together a group of likeminded volunteers to help make Harborne Village more environmentally responsible. HUG (Harborne Urban Garden project) encouraged us to show our love of all things buzzy and fluttery by planting areas of the High Street with wild flowers and good pollinators to keep our tiny friends happy.

“Completely moving away from the usual planting, you see around the city, HUG specified the plants used to ensure they’d be beneficial to our bee and insect community and the result is stunning!!

“How wonderful to pretty up this urban environment whilst helping the Harborne insects!”

Harborne is one of a number of Birmingham BIDs which work with Plantscape – with one of them, Soho Road, even featured on a BBC TV programme about Britain in Bloom earlier this year.

For more information call us on 0330 555 0121 or email info@plantscapeuk.com

• Plantscape’s new bee friendly planters, containing plants from the RHS list of approved Plants for Pollinators, will be available for towns and BID groups from summer 2020 after a successful pilot in Birmingham.

Ice Watch trials new forecast modelling to improve service accuracy

Ice Watch is carrying out specialised trials with weather forecaster MeteoGroup to help pinpoint even more precisely when car parks and roads need gritting.

The ‘cycle and bridge model’ research, which will continue until the end of the year, allows Ice Watch to compare the different types of forecasts so it can analyse the likelihood of different thicknesses of tarmac or concrete surfaces becoming icy during cold weather.

The results, if they show a marked differential, will enable Ice Watch to offer customers an even more precise and cost-effective service.

MeteoGroup, which also provides forecasts to the BBC, will be measuring the surface temperature of traditional road surfaces, as well as those of cycle paths and bridges (hence the moniker ‘cycle and bridge model’!).

The theory is that the surfaces of ‘normal’ roads are deeper than those of multi-storey car parks, bridges and cycle paths and thus retain heat for longer – making the formation of ice less likely than on a thinner construction.

The bulk of the relevant technical information is gleaned from Road Weather Information Systems – glorified roadside weather stations – and combined with a number of other data sources, to come up with an accurate prediction.

Ice Watch is assessing the accuracy of the new system by comparing results from both the traditional and the cycle and bridge models on ten per cent of its sites this year.

If the trials suggest offering differentiated forecasts will be beneficial, Ice Watch will be able to provide even more specific projections based on whether clients operate multi-storey car parks, roads, bridges or cycleways.

Ice Watch’s in-house meteorologist Timo Strom explained: “This is just one example of how we work very closely with MeteoGroup on initiatives which will benefit our customers.

“On each of the forecasts in this trial we can compare the three models – cycle, bridge and road – and see which would be better suited for us. Most of our sites are car parks, so will typically be a bit colder than a road.

“This means we can then tailor a specific forecast depending on the types of surface on a site – road, car park, multi storey or bridge.

Call 01728 633900 for your FREE consultation and FREE no obligation quotation!  Or click here.

• The Basingstoke forecast shows a road, cycle and bridge option on Ice Watch’s online portal

Gloucester residents thrilled with city’s ‘stunning’ Plantscape displays

Gloucester residents have been heaping praise on its beautiful floral offerings after the city’s BID chose, for the first time ever, to employ a professional company to handle its displays.

And joyful souls have been posting their appreciation on Facebook.

Comments include: “You are doing a good job. Gloucester is thriving compared to other towns its size and all the events we have attended have been great,” “The flower displays are stunning! Well done! “Gloucester is looking and smelling beautiful,” and “Best I’ve seen in years.”

The BID placed its order with Plantscape super early to make sure it was at the head of the queue this summer. Its enthusiasm stemmed from the fact that it had wanted to fill the city with flowers in 2018. But it missed the boat because by the time it wanted to place a booking, Plantscape’s 100,000 square foot of greenhouse space was already dedicated to other summer orders.

The BID ordered 30 flower towers, 73 hanging baskets and 24 lamp post planters, which have been installed at the docks and The Cross, where the four main shopping streets converge. Plantscape is also watering them throughout the summer – just once a week, even in the heat – thanks to its innovative seven-day watering system.

Plantscape sales executive Alan McGregor explained: “The BID team not only wanted a supplier of beautiful floral planters, but also needed a company which would work in partnership with its members. They wanted us to help them choose the most suitable containers to maximise the effect of the display, because this was the first time they had installed such a large number of planters. They were keen to get in right at the front of the queue for this year because they were too late when they decided to order for last summer. After all, our planters are extremely popular!”

Hannah Cassar from Gloucester BID said on Facebook: “Our goal is to support our local businesses. As part of our physical and environmental services, we installed planters by Plantscape throughout the city, adding some more colour to our streets!”

For more information call us on 0330 555 0121 or email info@plantscapeuk.com

Burleys backs bid to bring back wildflowers to Britain’s verges

A campaign by Prince of Wales backed British conservation charity Plantlife to bring back wildflowers to the country’s roadside verges has been gathering momentum – and is being lauded by Burleys.

Plantlife is calling on councils to ‘ditch the mower’ with the aim of saving threatened wildflowers and plants – and helping pollinators.

And Royal Warrant holder Burleys, which works with Lewes District Council and various community groups to create mini meadows across the district, has been particularly excited about the response from local authorities to Plantlife’s campaign.

Indeed, its success has sparked a call by the Guardian for readers to send in photos of their local wildflower verges, with Burleys’ community liaison officer for Lewes, Karen Rigby Faux explaining to the paper how her corner of England is helping the bees.

“Burleys, Lewes district council and Wildflower Lewes have been planting up verges across Lewes District for three years. There are several different types of meadows, those that are more biodiversity rich – which are perennial wildflowers – are sown once and then left to get on with it, year on year,” she explained.

“The other meadows are the annual wildflower seeds chosen for our pollinators – these are much prettier and have to be sown yearly. These mini-meadows are scattered across roadside verges, recreation fields, housing estates and cemeteries. This year all the meadows were teeming with butterflies, bees, grasshopper and crickets. It’s amazing just how many insects benefit from such small areas.

“We want to improve the biodiversity of our district, educate and inspire others to do the same and hopefully they will get closer to nature by visiting more green spaces. We plant chalk-loving plug plants in some areas to create mini-downland areas in the hope that residents will get out more, reducing social isolation and improving health and wellbeing.

“We receive many compliments about how the wildflower verges have made them happy on their way to work and school. The wider impact a small patch of ground can have on people is tremendous and shouldn’t be underestimated.”

Plantlife’s road verge campaign started in 2013 in an attempt to reverse the decline of natural flora. The group says wildflower meadows are some of the UK’s most species-rich habitats, but are found on less than 1% of the country’s land area. More than 97% of meadows have been lost since the 1930s and the remaining fragments have poor legal protection.

For more information contact us on 0330 555 0121 or at enquire@gburley.co.uk

Burleys gives second East Sussex station a floral makeover

Royal Warrant holder Burleys has added another floral station to its portfolio – by brightening up sleepy Bishopstone Station near Seaford in East Sussex.

It has donated three planted containers to the station partners, Friends of Bishopstone Station, who are working alongside the Sussex Community Rail Partnership supported by Burleys.

Burleys’ community liaison officer for Lewes, Karen Rigby-Faux said: “Even as we were doing this, passengers who were alighting said how wonderful they looked.

“We are looking forward to going back in the autumn and supporting them with their more permanent planting designs. We love making a difference in our communities.”

As a member of the Partnership, which unites local authorities, railway companies and communities to improve the facilities and use of the rail network, grounds maintenance specialist Burleys has carried out a number of projects aimed at improving the aesthetics of neighbouring Newhaven Town station.

Work began four years ago when Burleys brought in a digger to level the land and carried out a huge litter pick. It recently created butterfly banks of lavender and rosemary near the entrance to improve biodiversity and looks after the station’s colourful planters.

Burleys has continued to litter pick the area three times a week free of charge for the last four years.

The Partnership is part of Southern Railway’s work with local communities which sees artwork and planting with a local focus at stations across the network.

For more information contact us on 0330 555 0121 or at enquire@gburley.co.uk

Plantscape helps Southside BID achieve Birmingham’s world class vision

Birmingham’s vision to become a world class city centre is being given a helping hand by civic floral display experts Plantscape.

The city’s Southside BID (Business Improvement District), whose attractions include the National Trust’s Back to Backs, the art deco Electric Cinema and the fabulously transformed New Street station, initially appointed the company to supply it with winter and spring flowering planters to add colour and vibrancy to the area.

They proved so popular that they decided to order a range of summer planters, baskets and window boxes, which are catching the eyes and imagination of residents and visitors.

Julia Robinson, manager at Southside BID, said: “Our district has established itself as the entertainment hub of Birmingham, and it’s important that Southside is presented in the best possible way to all visitors.

“The blooms that have been provided by Plantscape help bring the area to life, and the feedback we’ve had in person and on social media has been excellent. They are low maintenance and beautiful, and exactly what we were looking for.”

The BID, one of several across Birmingham for which Plantscape provides summer and winter floral displays, aims to attract greater footfall to the district, home to numerous bars, Chinatown and Gay Village, and make it a more attractive place in which to spend time and money!

The city as a whole has seen great investment and improvement over recent years. Its iconic library is an architectural wonder and its funky space age looking Bullring shopping centre is world famous. And it will play host to the Commonwealth Games in 2022 – another tick in the ‘putting Birmingham on the map’ box.

In Southside itself, the revitalised New Street station has become not just a major transport hub but also a shopping destination attracting visitors into the city from across the Midlands. It is also home to theatrical venues such as the Hippodrome, O2 Academy, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Rep.

In addition to the floral enhancements, Southside itself also invested £60,000 in festive lights this year and created a series of films about the area – Southside stories .

Plantscape, which supplies hundreds of local councils, BID teams and In Bloom groups across England, Scotland and Wales with all year-round plants as well as solar powered Christmas trees, has also provided floral enhancements to other Birmingham and West Midlands BIDs.

Harborne Village, Acocks Green, Erdington, Soho Road and West Bromwich BIDS are among those whose streets have been improved thanks to Plantscape’s ministrations.

Indeed, Soho Road featured in a half hour BBC In Bloom programme recently, such was the transformation and improvement in community spirit.

Southside has around a hundred window boxes, barrier baskets, floor standing planters and flower towers across the area.

Plantscape is famed for its innovative seven-day self-watering planters – which came into their own during last year’s summer heatwave. Its winter offerings, while in need of less watering, offer a hassle free option for towns – as Plantscape grows, plants, installs, maintains and then removes the displays.

In many cases, brackets used for hanging baskets, lamppost wraparounds and window boxes are used for both summer and winter displays as well as for holding its popular solar powered Christmas trees.

The blooms are grown in the company’s 100,000 sq ft greenhouse complex at Egginton in Derbyshire – which every year has the capacity for 12,500 summer planters, window boxes and hanging baskets for distribution nationwide.

The winter planters, which offer colour, texture and scent from autumn to spring, include evergreen shrubs, herbs, hardy flowering plants and spring bulbs.

For more information call us on 0330 555 0121 or email info@plantscapeuk.com

Burleys joins SEGRO for Day of Giving

Burleys has taken part in its fourth annual Day of Giving with European warehouse giant SEGRO.

The Burleys team joined SEGRO employees from across the UK to carry out a variety of activities designed to put something back into the communities in which SEGRO works.

Tasks included gardening for the Taplow and Hitcham Brownies and the Thames Valley Adventure Playground for children with special needs in Maidenhead, and a small courtyard garden at Wrexham Park Hospital near Slough. The work involved cutting hedges, weeding, and clearing rubbish as well as donating and planting plants.

Burleys, which maintains SEGRO owned Slough Trading Estate, the largest of ts kind in Europe, has a policy of putting back into the communities it serves, which aligns with SEGRO’s own commitment to supporting local charities and initiatives.

SEGRO procurement executive Nicky Holland told Burleys contract manager Neil Arnold: “The day was a great success and we really could not have achieved everything without the help and support from your team on the day and Burleys as a whole.”

In previous years, teams have painted schools, served food at a day centre for homeless people and tidied the gardens of a hostel for pregnant women.

For more information contact us on 0330 555 0121 or at enquire@gburley.co.uk

Plantscape launches bee friendly range with Birmingham’s Harborne BID

Plantscape has created its first ever specific bee friendly range of planters, and they are already cheering up people – and pollinators – in Birmingham’s trendy Harborne Village.

In fact, it was the determination of the newly formed Harborne Village BID (Business Improvement District) which spurred the Plantscape nursery team into action when it wanted to combine floral colour to the suburb with looking after the environment.

Plantscape, the BID and the Harborne Urban Garden project (HUG for short) worked together to decide on bee friendly alternatives to the more traditional civic planting usually chosen by Plantscape’s clients.

Plantscape sales executive Alan McGregor explained: “Harborne’s board decided they wanted to have a bee and insect friendly theme running through their project and we were asked if we could supply an appropriate range of flowering plants for the barrier baskets. We worked with them to find some plants that would fit their specifications and used a mixture of gaura and verbena plants.”

The 17 seven day watering barrier baskets were installed at the end of June and are already creating a buzz (ha ha) in the village, according to BID manager Kate Smart.

“With the global concern about depleting insect numbers we gathered together a group of likeminded volunteers to help make Harborne Village more environmentally responsible. HUG encouraged us to show our love of all things buzzy and fluttery by planting areas of the High Street with wild flowers and good pollinators to keep our tiny friends happy,” she explained.

“Completely moving away from the usual planting you see around the city, HUG specified the plants used to ensure they’d be beneficial to our bee and insect community and the result is stunning!!

“How wonderful to pretty up this urban environment whilst helping the Harborne insects!”

The HUG has also carried out additional bee friendly planting in the village – with cornflowers, poppies, scabia, cosmos, purple sage, chives and lavender planted in a bed near Sainsburys.

Harborne is one of a number of Birmingham BIDs which work with Plantscape – indeed one of them, Soho Road, was even featured on a BBC TV programme about Britain in Bloom earlier this year.

Now that Harborne has pioneered the new range, Plantscape plans to offer it to other clients for the 2020 summer season.

All displays will contain plants from the RHS list of approved Plants for Pollinators.

For more information call us on 0330 555 0121 or email info@plantscapeuk.com

Burleys awarded contract with Newport Pagnell Town Council

Burleys has been awarded a multi-year contract to maintain parks and open spaces for Newport Pagnell Town Council.

The work will see the Royal Warrant holder undertake grass cutting, shrub, bed and hedge maintenance, cleansing and playground inspections, as well as litter picking and bin emptying across 14 sites in the Buckinghamshire town.

Burleys is increasing the size of its maintenance team to tackle the role, one of whom will be an apprentice taken on as part of the wider TCL Group’s formal apprenticeship programme.

Part of his appointment will see him attend Bedford College to complete an NVQ level 2 in Amenity Horticulture.

The apprenticeship programme is aimed at ensuring the TCL Group – of which Burleys is part – has a constant flow of well-trained colleagues to support its ambitious expansion plans.

It provides a structured focus which will help the TCL Group plan its growth strategy, offer colleagues essential formal qualifications and attract more people to the company and to the industry as a whole.

Apprenticeships thus far have covered finance, construction and horticulture. And while the majority are young, the company is also appealing to more mature employees.

Burleys MD Tony Cammiss explained: “The apprenticeship programme is a win-win for both parties. The apprentices benefit from formal NVQ level 2 and 3 diploma training, with a view to more formal employment on completion of their initial course.

“The benefits for TCL are a motivated, well trained workforce and industry recognition.

“Not only does the business show commitment and loyalty to the apprentice by providing these opportunities in the short term, but also by continuing to invest we expect to see a similar level of loyalty reciprocated by the employees. In addition, as the business continues to grow, we have seen historically that opportunities will arise which will enable employees to further develop and flourish via internal promotions.”

For more information contact us on 0330 555 0121 or at enquire@gburley.co.uk

Yorkshire’s ‘food capital’ and Plantscape find floral way to manage traffic

A market town dubbed ‘Yorkshire’s food capital’ by chef Antonio Carluccio is the latest location to combine beauty with road safety with help from civic planting specialists Plantscape!

Malton – former gold and silver gilt winner of the ever popular Yorkshire in Bloom – has been availing itself, summer and winter, of Plantscape’s services for the past seven years.

And this year Plantscape has not only made the foodie destination look beautiful, it has also helped calm traffic in the town centre.

Every summer the town council, which set up a thriving In Bloom group three years ago, invests in around 135 hanging baskets, 26 barrier baskets, 25 window boxes and four three tier planters. In the winter it opts for 16 window boxes and six barrier baskets filled with herbs, bulbs, pansies, polyanthus, ivy, japonica and euonymus.

This year it decided the three tier planters could be used for more than attracting visitors, but could be positioned to improve road safety. And as they hold 400 litres of water when full they are nigh on impossible to move!

Town clerk Gail Cook explained: “We have had some road safety and traffic issues in the Market Place and we had the idea to use the three tier planters this summer to trial a new layout. The Market Place has limited marked pedestrian routes, and by using these we’ve created a natural walk way for pedestrians. This gives them right of way instead of vehicles.

“In previous years, the area where we placed them actually encouraged inconsiderate parking and a short cut for vehicles to race through the Market Place. By using the three tier planters in the new configuration we have cut off this short cut and stopped the issue.”

In the autumn the council plans to buy some permanent planters to continue its traffic calming success and relocate the Plantscape pots to another location to ensure maximum visual impact.

Other destinations which have discovered the combined merits of aesthetics and traffic management include the Soho Road BID group in Birmingham and global information company IHS Market in Surrey.

Plantscape sales executive Alan Mc Gregor explained: “Customers who want to manage traffic tend to use our large floor standing planters such as our one metre square planters. When full of water and compost they weigh around 800 kilos. The plastic walls have a bit of flexibility so can absorb a car knocking into them without damaging the planter or car. They have forklift spaces at the bottom which allow easy movement by a pallet truck.”

For more information call us on 0330 555 0121 or email info@plantscapeuk.com