We promote and sell British native trees, hedging, aquatic plants, wildflower seed and heritage fruit trees, which we source from a community of small specialist UK nurseries and growers. We also offer groundwork, planting and seeding services as well as ecological services through our network of partners.
We think the local origin and distinctiveness of plants isn’t just important for biodiversity, but also culturally. Over the last century we have lost swathes of our most important and attractive habitats, including almost all of our wildflower meadows. This is a terrible - and continuing - loss for all of us.
Wildflower meadows, orchards, ponds, wetlands, hedges, woodland - these should be beautiful elements of our landscape, teeming with life. People just aren't aware of the collapse in biodiversity associated with the continuing loss of these habitats. Compared to climate change it's a small story in the media.
It's difficult for people to know what to do to reverse this decline. Sometimes plants for sale are grown using pesticides which then harm the insects feeding from them. The wildflower seed business is opaque and unregulated; quality and provenance vary enormously. “Native” trees and hedging are routinely sourced from Europe, as are British fruit tree varieties. Native pond plants are often contaminated by invasive non-native weeds.
We sell people the right plants and seeds, from the right suppliers. We're now a significant customer for some of these typically small, family run businesses. We promote these companies through our websites, which also include specialist retail sites selling seed harvested from wildflower meadows and British pond plants.
We have close links to a number of specialist science based UK conservation charities. Their work is as important as it is underfunded. We donate half of profits from online retail sales to these kind of NGOs, as well as to community planting and seeding schemes on application. Over the last three years these donations have amounted to c. £50,000.
Some of our recent higher profile projects have included landscaping over 70 solar farms. The two largest of these were each over 200 acres. Our corporate clients have included Charlie Bigham, the Co-op, Good Energy, Hillier’s Nurseries, Nestle, M&S, and Noble Foods. We also supply and advise a number of government organisations and NGOs, and garden designers including Tom Stuart-Smith.
We also operate two other websites:
British Wildflower Seeds which offers smaller packet sizes of wildflower meadow seed mixes.
British Pond Plants which offers... British pond plants!
None of our plants, bulbs or seeds have been anywhere near a neonicotinoid; we have lobbied for a blanket ban of these pesticides since early 2011. No pesticides or fungicides are used in the production of our wildflower plants, aquatic plants, native trees and wildflower bulbs. Fungicides may be used on our fruit trees. Herbicide may be used to clear seedbeds for seeds and trees, and to manage some of the sites from which our seed mixes are harvested.
Habitat Aid ("HAL") started trading in May 2009. It is run by Nick Mann from his home in Somerset. Nick co-founded and ran an investment management firm from 1998 to 2008 specialising in Japanese smaller companies. His interests include beekeeping, cricket, rugby, tennis, politics and hedge laying. He is a trustee of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, has appeared on local Radio, and written for a number of publications including his own blog.
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"Habitat Aid" is a registered trade mark.