Plant delivery service started by Bury St Edmunds nursery

Eleanor Gilbert, manager at Nowton Park Nursery, said the trial delivery service had gone very well.

Eleanor Gilbert, manager at Nowton Park Nursery, said the trial delivery service had gone very well. Picture: REALISE FUTURES - Credit: REALISE FUTURES

A Bury St Edmunds nursery run by a social enterprise has started a plant delivery service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nowton Park Nursery, which is run by Realise Futures, has begun delivering plants after being closed since March.

Despite not being open to the public, a team at the site have been working to grow plants in the greenhouses and outside.

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Now, they are offering delivery or collection on a range of plants including basket and tub plants, geraniums and osteospermum, compost and a selection of herbaceous plants.

Eleanor Gilbert, nursery manager, said: “We have been continuing to grow plants during the lockdown period, although not open to the public of course.

“A few weeks ago, we trialled the plant delivery service with a handful of our existing customers and it has gone very well, so we are now launching the service generally.

“However, we have a small team, so we are asking people to be patient with us once they place an order.

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“Safety is our number one priority, so we will only be taking card payment over the phone and we will let people know in advance when we are delivering their plants observing social distancing rules by knocking at their door and standing back.

“Anyone ordering by phone or email can choose to collect from the trailer instead of having a delivery. We will happily talk anyone through this over the phone or via email.

“Hopefully people will be a little more lenient in the current climate and will bear with us as we get orders ready.”

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The nursery, which provides work and work experience to people with disabilities or disadvantages, uses all of its profits to provide more opportunities for people with disabilities.

Ipswich-based Realise Futures runs six businesses across Suffolk, as well as providing employment support and advice for people with disabilities or disadvantages and adult learning.

During the coronavirus pandemic it has also adapted to provide online community learning throughout Suffolk and expanding the vegetable delivery service based at Growing Places, Claydon.

It employs around 250 people across Suffolk and Essex, approximately 41% of whom are disadvantaged or have a disability.

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