Plants in Parliament

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) presented at Parliament this week to relay the importance of UK environmental horticulture.

Houses of parliament
Photo by Manuele Sangalli on Unsplash

Sponsored by Heather Wheeler MP, the event attracted over 50 MPs, Peers, and staff, with positive conversations about green spaces and the sector. The HTA talked about the industry’s far-reaching benefits across various policy areas, including the economy, trade, environment, health, and wellbeing. Parliamentarians from Cornwall to Scotland, from rural to urban areas, had the opportunity to engage with the sector firsthand. HTA members Jonathan Whittemore of Johnsons Nurseries and Laura Jackson from Swarkestone Nursery, shared valuable insights on how policymakers can best support the industry.

Heather Wheeler, MP, said: “I was delighted to extend a warm welcome to the environmental horticulture industry in Parliament, where they could showcase the immense value of this sector along with an array of captivating seasonal plants – all locally sourced by a nursery in my constituency of South Derbyshire. The Horticultural Trades Association, at this event, provided MPs with a first-hand insight into the numerous benefits of environmental horticulture, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the challenges the industry currently faces. It’s an opportune moment to discuss how government support can further bolster this vital sector.”

Jennifer Pheasey, HTA Director of Public Affairs, said: “The event showed the level of support and interest by parliamentarians in UK environmental horticulture and the green spaces we deliver. Everyone we talked to about the value of plants, gardens and green spaces now knows a bit more about the sector behind it – £28.8bn GDP, nearly 700k jobs and 200 million garden centre visits a year. The HTA’s members are spread across the four corners and almost every UK parliamentary constituency. We were delighted to be able to engage across the political spectrum and build on getting greater recognition for environmental horticulture in Westminster.”

Commenting on X, Defra Minister Mark Spencer, stated: “Delighted to support the @HTAnews. The Horticulture sector is not only important to our economy but has a huge positive effect on our environment.”