Codsall Wood organic trees business is growing
A Staffordshire family farming business has diversified to become the UK’s only organic hedging and woodland tree nursery.
Organic Hedging and Trees at Wood Hall Farm, Codsall Wood, was launched by retired farmer Keith Shropshire in 2016.
The business, which is employing three part-time staff, hopes to benefit from the drive for increased tree planting to help in the fight against global warming.
Director Mr Shropshire is concerned the benefits gained from planting might be counteracted by the use of artificial chemicals across the tree nursery industry.
“Using chemicals together with the use of peat to meet tree planting targets has to have a negative effect on the environment," he explained.
He said that his business is the only certified organic tree nursery in the UK to grow native hedging and woodland trees for the home market.
It sources seed certified by the Forestry Commission and follows strict certification rules.
The business is growing trees free from artificial pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilisers and without using peat as well.
“Our aim is to create a sustainable tree nursery business which will inevitably improve our environment and create regular employment." said Mr Shropshire, who has been farming at Wood Hall Farm since 1976,
The family have been farming in the area for over a century and has been been growing organically for 30 years.
Mr Shropshire said he decided to branch out because his son was now running the 235-acre farm and Organic Hedging and Trees was using about an acre.
"I have always had a great interest in trees and we have planted a lot in the new nursery in the last few years and are now producing a lot of our own seed.
"We are supplying a wide range of deciduous trees including oak, ash, birch, sycamore and walnut as well as hedging."
Mr Shropshire said his grandchildren had helped him with collecting the first seeds to establish the project and seed was also being supplied by Forestart at Hadnall, near Shrewsbury.
His ambition is to see Organic Hedging and Trees grow and help with re-forestation projects and carbon offset planting scheme across the country.
A website www.organichedgingandtrees.co.uk has been set up to push sales of young trees in either their first or second year.
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