Green-fingered Northumberland woman helping the environment with plant pot recycling scheme

More than 30 years ago, keen gardener Jen Hall began selling surplus plants at her local car boot sale in Beadnell.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 4:11 pm

Running short of pots she put up a sign saying ‘Plant Pots wanted’.

Little did she know people would still be delivering them to her all these years later.

Although she no longer has a stall at car boots, Jen still grows plants for Beadnell in Bloom and helps pot up those donated to the village, twice a year, by the local pub, The Craster Arms.

Jen Hall's plant pot shed.

Although her need for plant pots has diminished Jen still collects them but this time to give away to anyone who wants them.

About five years ago she erected a shed in her garden to store the thousands of pots and the message has spread by word of mouth, and now social media, ever since.

Over the past six weeks Jen has recorded over 250 pots have been given by 29 different donors, mostly anonymous. In turn 10 different people have taken away 430 pots, saucers and plastic cells for seedlings.

She recalls how spring 2020 was the busiest with hundreds of people growing tomatoes for the very first time.

"There was a lot of demand for exceptionally large plant pots, and I had to send out a request for more,” she said. “This year people appear to be growing a wider range of vegetables and flowers and smaller pots have been more popular.”

Jen has been pleased to see the idea taken on elsewhere in Northumberland so pots can be reused instead of incinerated.

“Ideally there would be a network of Pot Sheds across every county,” she says.

Plant pots can be left at any time at the table at the end of Jen’s drive, opposite Beadnell Towers Hotel in The Wynding, Beadnell. Contact Jen on 01665 720993 for details of how to initially collect pots.

“The scheme works well,” said Jen. “It only takes me about half an hour a week to sort and stack all the incoming pots. But I spend lots more time chatting to the people who are seeking them.”

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