A stretch of the A30 from Bagshot through Windlesham is known in the horticultural trade as the ‘golden mile’. Although how long this will be the case is open for discussion, as I’ll show below.
I’ve written about horticulture being part of our local heritage in, Supporting the horticultural ‘Golden Mile’, and The joys of Surrey Heath’s horticultural golden mile. Heck, I’ve worked as a garden boy at a plant nursery in Bisley, so you can probably see where my passion lies.
Lightwater’s early development can be traced to the need for inexpensive homes for workers at Frommow’s plant nursery. While the nursery closed many years ago, part of its land is now occupied by Windlesham Arboretum.
The golden mile once comprised Notcutts Nursery in Bagshot, then Longacres, onto Wyevale Garden Centre, Hillier Nursery, Crocus.co.uk, and Waterers. Today, Notcutts in Bagshot is no more, and now it appears that Wyevale Garden Centre will also soon be no more.
Look, I’m not against change. Change is mostly positive. It is though easy to lose what is distinctive about one’s local area, as horticulture has been for our area. But if you don’t protect it, you’ll soon lose it. Wyevale has written to the Windlesham Society indicating that they’ll be submitting a planning application for 15 houses.
Distinctiveness lost for just 15 houses. Surrey Heath Borough Council appear to have no interest in promoting horticultural businesses – it’s all about IT. They once had a planning paper on supporting the horticultural businesses. Not now.