New direction for Quadring nursery

Henry Bingham has expanded herb production to 6m a year at Crossroads Nurseries. Photo: SG250413-119TW
Henry Bingham has expanded herb production to 6m a year at Crossroads Nurseries. Photo: SG250413-119TW

Put new blood in charge of a business and you have to expect change.

Henry Bingham – at 27 one of the youngest people working in the horticultural industry in the area – has made radical changes since he took over the helm at Crossroads Nurseries at Quadring four years ago.

Henry had been working in the family business for six years before that point, when ill health forced his father Richard to start winding the business down and retire.

However, Henry seized the opportunity to move the business in a new direction to make it more profitable.

Richard had been growing some mint alongside the principal brassica crops, but Henry has increased herb production to 6m plug plants annually.

The nursery is producing four or five different types of mint, rosemary, sage varieties and Henry says they are looking at the possibility of propagating stevia, something not bred to grow in the UK. Once dried, the leaves can be used in food production as a sugar substitute.

On top of that, the nursery produces ¼m primroses, about 200,000 bedding plants as well as a small range of perennials, alpines and bluebells.

Production is across two sites of ten acres each, and each has 2½ acres of glass.

Henry is not standing still and future plans include expanding glasshouse space, putting in a reservoir and exploring energy saving technologies for cheaper heating in the glasshouses.