Pettistree-based John Woods Nurseries goes into administration

Part of the John Woods Nurseries site at Pettistree, near Woodbridge.

Part of the John Woods Nurseries site at Pettistree, near Woodbridge. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk-based horticultural wholesale business with a history stretching back nearly 180 years has gone into administration.

John Woods Nurseries, at Pettistree, near Woodbridge, is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of plants for retail garden centres, with its collection of some species being regarded as of national importance.

Jamie Taylor and Lloyd Biscoe, from the Southend-on-Sea office of insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor, have been appointed as joint administrators of the company.

Nobody was available to comment on behalf of Begbies Traynor yesterday.

However, chartered surveyors firm Eddisons said it had been appointed to run an online auction of around £500,000-worth of container-grown trees, shrubs and other plants from John Woods, starting on Tuesday, November 24. The lots will be available to view at the John Woods site the previous day, between 10am and 4pm.


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Kevin McAndrew, director of machinery and business assets at Eddisons, said: “It’s really sad to see a company like John Woods, which has such a proud heritage in plant growing and gardening being brought down by financial problems.

“The lots that we are auctioning next week will be an opportunity for trade buyers and individuals to pick up some fantastic plants and other items from right across the nurseries’ vast product range.”

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John Woods Nurseries was originally formed in 1837 and was acquired in 1897 by RC Notcutt, whose family business developed into what is now the Notcutts garden centres chain.

The John Woods name was revived in 2007 when Notcutts Nurseries was acquired from the group by a management buyout team, led by managing director John Lord.

In October last year, John Woods sought to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its creditors, under which they would be paid 49p in the pound over five years.

The company said at that time that its business was “inherently profitable”, but that it faced challenges as a result of increasing seasonality in demand from garden centre customers.

Woodbridge-based Notcutts yesterday expressed regret at the appointment of administrators at John Woods.

Company chairman Nicky Dulieu said: “Notcutts have been a supporter of John Woods Nurseries for many years and we are very sorry to hear the news.”

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