Highfield’s retractable roof close to completion

Highfield Garden World in Gloucestershire is on track to finalise its planteria redevelopment, complete with opening roof, before the end of the year.

Director Tim Armstrong explains:  “The new retractable roof promises to transform the way our planteria feels for customers and staff. Whatever the great British weather is doing, we can open and close the roof in sections on demand so that no day is too hot, too wet, or too windy. It means customers will be more tempted to browse our plants, trees and gardening products all year round come rain or shine. It also means staff won’t swelter on sunny days.

“We’re planning a number of other new features as well, and have decided to keep the one-way system throughout the site which we originally introduced due to COVID. The customer’s journey has flowed more freely since the one-way path was introduced, and it helps ensure they have a chance to enjoy every department without missing any out during their visit – including the planteria.”

The Rovero roof’s flexible functionality brings other benefits too. Tim explains: “Here at Highfield, we have wonderful views but being on the top of a hill also brings a fair amount of wind which knocks taller plants over at times. The new roof will put paid to that problem. Another benefit is that, because the roof’s 12 bays can each be opened or shut individually, when it’s raining we can let the rain water the plants which need it, while covering those that don’t. We’re also looking at introducing flood benches for plant irrigation, and we’re installing a 216,000L tank which will capture rainfall when the roof is closed. This approach to maximising rainfall is not only more environmentally friendly – it reduces the need to water by hand as well as reducing the health and safety risks posed by water spillages whilst watering by hand.”

The garden centre and rural business development specialists Malcolm Scott Consultants worked alongside the directors at Highfield to develop the concept and apply for the planning permission. Work on the new planteria began in September and the project, when complete, will cover an area of 3240m2 .

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