Hillier Nurseries has completed the £4 million purchase of a 200-acre farm in Liss, Hampshire. Just two miles from the main production site, Flexcombe Farm is where Hillier plan on planting around 30,000 new trees this winter. This purchase brings Hillier Nurseries’ land total to nearly 1,000 acres, continuing to increase the company’s tree-growing capacity and cementing itself as the largest ornamental tree nursery in the UK.
The land at Flexcombe Farm was previously used for the production of cattle, meaning that Hillier will be the first to plant trees at the site. This will ensure that the soil is rich with nutrients, which combined with the free-draining land, provides ideal conditions for growing trees. In the last five years, this acquisition is set to help increase the production capacity of both field and container trees, further aiding Hillier in its ambitious long-term expansion plans and giving the business additional land security.
‘’The demand for British-grown trees has probably never been stronger,” says Adam Dunnett, amenity director. “This demand is only likely to increase with the government tree planting targets, our towns and cities seeking to increase their canopy cover, planners raising the bar on green infrastructure requirements with developers and the public demanding a greener environment to help combat climate change.”
The new land will focus on growing 3x transplanted trees, with the vast majority of these coming from the company’s young tree production fields. The extra land will allow existing fields to be rested for longer ensuring trees are always produced in optimum growing conditions.
“40 years ago Robert Hillier bought Andlers Ash Farm, now our main tree production nursery, which has proven to be a very sound investment. Flexcombe Farm is the culmination of 20 years of searching for more suitable land close to Andlers Ash, the negotiations for Flexcombe were led by Roberts son George Hillier our Property Director, and will help us see continued growth for the next 40 years. The team is very excited by the opportunity this gives us” says Dunnett.
Hillier expanded their container tree nursery in autumn 2021 for longer-term landscape projects requiring larger, semi-mature trees, and Flexcombe Farm will continue to expand the tree growing capacity of Hillier. In full production, Flexcombe is expected to produce over 100,000 standard and heavy-standard ornamental trees.