We can’t grow our plants without light, and the huge skies of Thanet are one of the reasons behind the decision to construct the glasshouse centre in this part of Kent. There are more sunlight hours in the South East and the plants benefit from all that extra sunshine. They’re more productive because of where we are.
However, we still have British winters, and even though we may have sunny days, the intensity of the light is not sufficient for our plants to be working at their full capability. So we supplement the natural light with artificial lighting in order to produce year-round tomatoes and cucumbers and reduce our reliance on imported produce.
Our glasshouses have blinds installed but we have to leave small gaps for ventilation. On nights with low cloud cover, we can suffer from a reflecting effect from the escaping light. We know that occasionally when this happens we can become a spooky, glowing landmark. We do everything we can to minimise this. There’s more information about our use of lights here.