Environmental Policy


Peat Free

Peat is a natural material found in marshy conditions such as Peatlands. Peatlands are one of the world's most important carbon stores - when they're drained, the carbon is released back into the atmosphere where it contributes to greenhouse gases and global warming, not forgetting that harvesting peat wipes out rare eco-systems.

Did you know? Over 95% of the UK’s Peatbogs have become degraded or destroyed.

We need to help save our Peatlands. To do this, the government has set the horticultural industry a target to become Peat Free by 2024 . We can confirm that Meadow Croft Garden Centre and WD Smith & Son are working towards this target.

We like to educate our customers so they can make informed choices regarding peat free compost.

Peat might be cheap – but it costs the earth!

We stock great compost and soil alternatives without using up those precious peat resources that we have left! We currently have a full range of branded Peat Free products available. 

Did you know? We are one of the first Garden Centres in England to sell our very own Peat Free Potting Compost!! 

Wholesale nurseries have been given the deadline of 2030 to stop using peat in production. W.D.Smith has made huge steps in beating that target and by the end of 2022 will be peat-free for all finished product grown for Meadow Croft.


FSC Policy 

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. It was founded in 1993 in respond to public concerns about deforestation, and demand for a trustworthy wood-labelling scheme. 

Where possible, all of our wooden garden products have been sustainably sourced and hold FSC certification. If you would like more information, please speak to a member of staff.


Re-using Plastic Bags & Cardboard Boxes

We don’t hide the fact that we don’t like to use plastic bags so we have a selection of paper bags in various sizes in store.

Plastic carry trays are used again in our outdoor plants area, so for anyone who would like to use them, go ahead.

We recycle all cardboard boxes that are delivered to us by letting you use them to take home your purchases. You’ll find the big cardboard box bins behind the tills. Help yourselves!


Recycling & Waste

We recycle 99% of our waste. We recycle approximately 42050kg of total waste each year. 11440kg of that is cardboard. 2770kg is food. 1715kg is glass and 26125kg of general waste, including paper, polystyrene, and plastics.

All plastic pots and containers on our nursery (WD Smith & Son) are produced from recycled material and can be recycled again along with your curb side collection.

In our restaurant, Meadow Croft Kitchen, we offer takeaway options for coffee & cakes. These are all served in recyclable or biodegradable packaging.


Throughout the garden centre, we have changed all of our posters & signage to a polyester based plastic which is recyclable. The material is durable and waterproof designed for use in harsh conditions. The inks used in the printer are water and UV resistant, which last longer and reduce the amount of printing throughout the centre.


We believe in re-using as many materials and displays as possible. Our merchandising team do their best to reuse as many materials as possible within all of their displays. We have also recently relocated our Houseplant Department, and created a pergola display using upcycled pallets, recycled wooden beams, re-used wooden crates and would you believe an old coffee hut!  

To make sure this department is entirely recyclable and reuseable, for plant signage, we use chalk boards that can be wiped and reused and the hessian backing is completely biodegradable! 


Chemicals & Biological Control

We have a wide range of non-glyphosate weed killers available in store.

We also offer plant food and bug, slug and weed killers that are organic and bee friendly. We are also agents of a biological control range.

Our nursery is an industry leader in the user of natural enemies (biological control) to control pests and diseases in glasshouse crops in the UK.


Plant Miles

Approximately 75% of the garden plants sold at Meadow Croft Garden Centre are grown on our nurseries just across the road. This means we only use approximately 130 delivery miles in a year for 75% of our plants.

Another 7.5% of plants are grown locally in Battlesbridge and 96% of our garden plants are English and grown within 100 miles of Meadow Croft.


Renewable Energy

Over 6.5 acres of our glasshouses are heated by biomass boilers. Biomass boilers are fuelled by a renewable energy source instead of traditional fossil fuels. We grow 80 acres of willow which gets cut back and turned into woodchip to burn our boilers. The willow grows back and is harvested every 3 years.

We have also replaced all lighting to LED to reduce energy loads.


Supporting Local

Throughout the Garden Centre we do our best to support local businesses.

Meadow Croft Kitchen sources food produce locally to lower their food miles. All the meat comes from Meatline in Maldon and all the fresh fruit and vegetables come from Jamie’s Fruit & Veg in Bicknacre - both of which are within 9 miles of Meadow Croft.

Many of our products within the Gift Shop are sourced locally. To give a few examples, in our chilled fridges, all the dairy products are sourced from Bradfield’s Dairy in Wickford and many of our alcoholic drinks are from local creators, such as Tapp’d Cocktails in Leigh on Sea and Oystermen Gin in Wivenhoe.


Irrigation and Heating

We use the water from our reservoir to irrigate many of the plants grown on our nursery.

All of our ventilation and heating on the nurseries is computer controlled, enabling us to reduce the heating requirements by holding heat in when required and only heating when it is called for.


Green Delivery Vehicles

Our nursery delivery lorries meet the strict Euro VI (NOx and PM) emissions standards.


Loyalty App Scheme

In order to manage and limit our impact as a business on the environment, we have chosen to opt for just a mobile app rather than a 'plastic' card. This reduces both our paper (printed vouchers & printed receipts) and plastic (card) usage. 

Come and choose your festive wreath this weekend!⁠
Handmade on our nursery
Simon, our garden centre manager, advises on the best gardening jobs for December
We have some beautiful table decorations in our Houseplant Department, all perfect for your Christmas table displays
What are you up to this weekend? ⁠
Visit us and pick your Christmas Tree!
❤️ Christmas Poinsettias are now in stock! ❤️⁠

£7.99 each ⁠
Available in our Houseplant Department. ⁠

Tips to a great Poinsettia⁠

❤️Only buy a plant that has not been exposed to draughts as this can cause the leaves to drop suddenly. ⁠

❤️Keep the plant wrapped for the journey home to protect it from the cold. ⁠

❤️Do not overwater or let the plant dry out. Consistent watering is the key to a healthy plant, using tepid water if possible. If the leaves turn yellow or fall off it is incorrectly watered. Only water when the plant is noticeably dry, lift the plant up and if it feels light it needs watering. Watering can be done from the top of the pot or by standing the pot in water for half an hour and then allowing to drain freely.⁠

❤️Poinsettias need warmth and light but must be kept away from draughts including open windows, fireplaces, open doorways etc. ⁠
Temperatures between 15-22 degrees are ideal and preferably placed in a light spot.⁠

#poinsettia #meadowcroftgardencentre #houseplants #festivehouseplants
We stock the very best Nordmann Needle Retentive Christmas Trees!⁠

Come along and hand pick your tree. All trees are unwrapped so you can see the shape and height of each tree.
Santa's Snug ❤️ ⁠

Featuring rich red, gold and green jewel tones, this colour scheme adds an instant Christmas elegance to your home. ⁠

We also have our real Christmas Trees now in stock - come and choose your tree and decorations all in one place!⁠

#meadowcroftgardencentre #christmasdisplays
We only have 6 German Market evenings left!
We’re open tonight, tomorrow (30th) and Friday (1st) until 8pm!

Our final evenings are on the 6th, 7th & 8th December until 8pm.

Browse the German Market stalls
Our final German Market Late Nights are this week! ⁠

We're open until 8pm this evening, Thursday and Friday. ⁠

Come along with friends and family to enjoy a late night shopping experience, as well as German Sausages, Beer or Gluhwein!
How to care for your Christmas Tree
The Meadow Croft German Market hosts a Live Music Weekend! ⁠

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