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. 

Kate is hard at work selecting home-grown plants from our nursery to go on display at the garden centre!
Three vegetables to plant in your garden:⁠

We love hearing you've had a great experience at Meadow Croft! A big thank you to Jeanette who left us this lovely review on our Facebook page
Last week, we donated a selection of vegetable plants to Gorsefield Rural Studies & Outdoor Activity Centre for their students to plant on the grounds
We've got a well-stocked selection of items perfect for any pantry, from condiments and cakes to flavoured teas and coffee.
Our outdoor furniture has been very popular over the last few weeks - whether you're looking to create a cosy outdoor seating arrangement or a place to enjoy meals outside, our team are on hand to help you choose the perfect solution ☀️⁠

#OutdoorFurniture #MeadowCroft #GardenCentre #Essex
Who's planning on firing up the BBQ this weekend now that the weather has dried up?⁠

If you're looking for an upgrade this summer, browse our selection of coal and gas barbecues in-store
Ever wondered how our seedlings are transplanted? Take a look in this behind the scenes clip filmed at our nursery
Who else is popping their coat on and getting out in the garden this bank holiday weekend? Let us know what you're working on in the comments
Ever heard of grafted veg?⁠

The plant is grafted onto a strong rootstock and as a result, becomes tougher, more disease-resistant and produces larger yields. ⁠

They're the perfect project for a long weekend! In store now

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