The visit was planned following a request from Technical Officer, Kathy Howard, who wanted to offer a view of water use and efficiency on a large scale.

Listening to a presentation by Crops Manager, Mark Knight, the trainees learnt more about how effective water management reduces the amount of water and fertiliser needed to grow the peppers and have a positive impact on the environment.

Inside the glasshouses, a state-of-the-art growing system uses hydroponics – which feeds the pepper plants a controlled supply of nutrient-rich water throughout their growing cycle. Tangmere recycles the nutrient-rich water, cleaning the water in the process, so it can be constantly reused.

The tour also provided a chance to see the innovative measuring tools that help stabilise the water uptake by plants, improve crop quality and reduce the risk of disease.

Mark said of the visit: “Raising awareness of what we do with our water and why we do it is essential visits like these, help to build a better understanding of the challenges growers face in this area.” 

One of the trainee Environment Officers commented: “A really fascinating place with some extremely large greenhouses. The growers utilise hi-tech scientific pepper production to maximise yield whilst also embracing the challenges of sustainable water resource use. With at least 9 different colours to choose from, Tangmere Airfield Nurseries have changed my pepper perspective forever.”    

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