A UK soft fruit grower plans to expand production in Herefordshire with new polytunnels and seasonal worker caravans. Ledbury-based Haygrove has applied to install up to 6.5 hectares of new tunnels on fields at its Huntington site by the Welsh border, with 18 caravans to be placed between them.
The company already grows 18 hectares of cherries and blueberries under plastic at the farm, to which it transports about 150 workers daily by double-decker and minibuses during the picking season.
Housing six workers in each of the proposed caravans “is intended to significantly reduce/eliminate the need for daily long-distance bussing (70-mile round trip) of workers in season”, to reduce local traffic, the application says.
Haygrove is also a major international developer and supplier of polytunnels, which it says “are now indispensable to all commercial soft-fruit growers in the UK and in Herefordshire”, yet “sit lightly on the landscape.”
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