In the late 1980s, it became apparent that mains water was not an environmentally sound way to water our trees, so we constructed a reservoir on Broadmead, our container nursery. The reservoir captures water from our nursery and a nearby housing estate, and is filtered, cleaned and treated on site.
Here at Hillier Trees, we use a drip irrigation method, which has proven highly efficient in delivering water directly to the root zone of our trees. Each of our containers is hooked up with a minimum of two drip tubes that release water in the form of small droplets. These seep into the soil evenly and gradually. By targeting the root zone, we minimise water loss through evaporation and runoff and maximise the water effectiveness.
Our reservoir provides numerous advantages, benefiting not just irrigation, but also wildlife conservation. The area serves as a sanctuary for migratory waterfowl such as ducks and Canadian geese, offering them a place to rest and build their nests. Additionally, herons have been observed at the edge of the water, patiently waiting for their prey.
During spring, the water teems with life as frogspawn and newts can be spotted. In the summer, a vibrant display unfolds as butterflies, dragonflies and bees revel in the wildflowers. As autumn arrives, a diverse array of fungi emerges in the area, adding to its biodiversity. Finally, in winter, the reservoir freezes over, creating a secure habitat for the inhabitants that call it home.
Hillier has always been a pioneer within horticulture, pursuing policies that have proved both commercially and environmentally beneficial.
Find out more about our award-winning approach on our company Environment page.