18 April 2013

OATA member Anglo Aquatic Plant Co Ltd has been personally thanked by a government minister for its continued support of the Be Plant Wise campaign.

The Middlesex-based business, which is one of the largest grower and wholesale suppliers of aquatic plants to the retail trade in the UK, is now introducing the Be Plant Wise logo on every information tag put in individual plant pots.

Richard Benyon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has signed a letter to the Enfield business personally thanking them for investing in this awareness-raising step.

“I cannot overstate the importance of the work you’re doing in spreading the campaign’s key message among your customers. We need to do all we can to prevent invasive non-native aquatic plants spreading from our garden ponds into the wild. Awareness-raising activities, such as the work you’re doing, help to highlight the negative impact invasive aquatic plants can have on our native ecosystems and empower people to take action to prevent the spread of these species,” he wrote in his letter.

“Naturally we’re very proud to have got this personally signed letter from Mr Benyon,” said Caroline Everett (Company Manger) of Anglo Aquatic Plant. “We understand the role we have to play in raising awareness about this issue and we’re working with DEFRA and OATA to protect both our environment and our industry. Ponds, rivers and lakes are essential for wildlife and we wanted to show our commitment to help people create beautiful water features while also protecting our environment.”

OATA Chief Executive Keith Davenport worked with Anglo Aquatic Plant to see how the plant supplier could raise awareness about DEFRA’s Be Plant Wise campaign.

“Putting this logo on plant labels that go with every aquatic plant they sell can only be good news and we hope it inspires other businesses in the industry to try to find ways they can help spread the message. The issue of non-native invasive plants is climbing up the political agenda and it’s vital for our industry to be part of the solution to this problem. OATA would urge every business, large or small, to visit the Be Plant Wise website to see what tips and ideas they can come up with to help customers understand how important it is to safely dispose of non-native plants and animals.”

The Be Plant Wise website can be found at here.

Read Richard Benyon’s letter to Anglo Aquatic Plant Co Ltd (links to pdf).