The passing of an industry pioneer, Norman Hinsley 1936-2019

It is with considerable respect and admiration that we reflect on the recent passing of Yorkshire grower Norman Hinsley. Norman has a special place in the memories of the founders of CMW Horticulture, since he was the first customer to place an order with the new company in 1989, 30 years ago. Typical of Norman, who realised that positive cash flow would be critical in CMW's early days, he insisted on paying up front. CMW will be forever grateful for that generous gesture. 

Norman's working life began in the propagating department at the Land Settlement Association, at West Bank. His hard work and commitment were quickly recognised and he was soon promoted to foreman. He continued in that role until a smallholding became available on West Bank. That seemed like the perfect time for Norman and wife Greta to go it alone. So Greta gave up her nursing career to help Norman set up their business and work alongside him, growing and harvesting salads and vegetables.

When son Paul left school in 1979, he was keen to join the family business, happily working with his Dad, followed by Mark 2 years later. As the business developed, Norman, together with Paul and Mark, decided to specialise in producing only lettuce, something that Paul and Mark are proud to carry on as a legacy to Norman.

When the Land Settlement Association closed in 1983, Norman played a pivotal role in the formation of Snaith Salad Growers. He was a Director from beginning, until a few years before he became ill. Committed and hardworking, Norman loved being in the greenhouse and was still working until a week before becoming ill, always ensuring he was the first out each morning — even if it did mean getting up at 4:00am.

Outside of his busy life as a grower, Norman was very active in the community, especially supporting his sons in the Snaith Scout Group, and also as a governor at Hirst Courtney and Temple Hirst primary school.

Greta and family are truly grateful for all the visits, offers of help, love and support Norman received in the last few months of his life. Many nurses and carers described Norman as a true gentleman, something that has been repeatedly articulated in the many condolence cards the family have received. Because of the caring and loving man that he was, Norman will be deeply missed by all who knew him. But greater than the sorrow from his death is the joy that he spread in his life - and it is this he would want to be remembered by.

Soft Fruit Best Practice

The recent joint CMW/Priva seminar 'The future for soft fruit -best practice' in Coupar Angus was attended by an enthusiastic group of growers and industry leaders.

All the presentations from the distinguished panel of speakers can be viewed here

The future for soft fruit - best practice

UK soft fruit growers continue to focus on extending the crop season in order to meet the increasing demand for locally grown produce, while at the same time managing risks associated with labour shortages, water restrictions, increased regulation and the need to provide the best working conditions.

So, CMW Horticulture and Priva invite interested growers to attend a free, information-packed one day seminar which will address many of these issues.

A panel of expert speakers from the UK and Holland will focus on:

  • Multispan structures to extend the growing season – Glass and polythene. Speakers: Andre van Dam of Certhon and Ben van der Heide of VDH Foliekassen
  • Achieving increased production through correct plant and water balance – Speaker: Hein Jasperse of Priva B.V.
  • The use of thermal screens to save energy and ensure the ideal plant and water balance – Speakers: Jose Carretero of Ridder Climate Screens B.V. and Gordon Badham of CMW Horticulture
  • Wireless technologies in the field – Speaker Steve Archer of 30MHz
  • Making the most of the RHI- Speaker: Thomas Wilkins of NFU Energy

The event takes place on Tuesday 26th March, 2019.

The day will begin with registration from 09:00 and close at 16:00 - Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Time permitting, interested delegates can stay on for a practical workshop with the technical experts. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so please confirm your attendance as soon as possible, but no later than Friday 22nd March.

Book your place here 


NFU breakthrough on Business Rates for plant nurseries

Years of work from the NFU have finally resulted in a bill being laid in Parliament which will ensure that nursery growers are treated equally to other agricultural businesses regarding business rates.

The Non Domestic Rates (Nursery Grounds) Bill confirms that plant nurseries in England will be covered under the agricultural exemption for business rates, along with other agricultural businesses.

The current legislation currently excludes nursery grounds growing mainly or entirely under cover from the exemption.

NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said: “This is a significant victory for nursery growers, and brings them in line with other farm businesses and providing essential certainty for the future.

“The NFU has been working hard behind the scenes with Defra and MHCLG to deliver this result for our members and I am pleased that the government has acted upon the case we made.

“The decision to rectify this anomaly will prevent the wider horticultural industry suffering significant negative implications, and will allow growers to continue doing what they do best – producing food for the nation.”

Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak MP said: “Plant nurseries are an essential part of the rural economy and it is vital they are protected.”

In some individual cases, NFU members will see very substantial and unsustainable charges either waived or reimbursed.


Berry growers impressed by greenhouse technologies

Inspired by the results of near-market research at specialist soft fruit facilities such as the Proefcentrum at Hoogstraten in Belgium (, growers in the Benelux countries have been investing in the latest greenhouse technology for some time, and now UK growers are seeing the benefits of modern growing systems too.

Berry growers Andrew Barrie, John Busby and Colin Grant recently visited a number of CMW customers using state of the art greenhouse technologies. Hosted by Nick Field and Gordon Badham of CMW, there was much to see:

(follow the hyperlinks for more information about the individual technologies)

As well as a number of RHI and/or FIT compliant renewable energy installations

CMW would like to thank the following for their hospitality during this grower tour:

Valefresco, Evesham

R&L Holt, Fladbury and Offenham

Westland Nursery, Offenham

Red Roofs Nursery, Cottingham

Mill Nurseries, Keyingham


Improved performance NDJ Dripper

NDJ Click Tif PCND drippers solve many of the problems that have become associated with other dripper types.

Key features:

  • Pressure compensating and leak proof 
  • Made of high grade plastics and silicon rubber.
  • Available for a wide range of outputs: 1.3lph, 2.0lph, 3.0lph, 4lph and 8lph and fully colour coded.
  • The wide range of outputs is more than enough to cover all eventualities.
  • The closing pressure of all the drippers is 3 m. This is not only industry leading but also vital on sloping or undulating land.
  • The operational pressure range is between 0.8 bar and 4 bar which again is industry leading. This allows for large valve blocks and long runs and, as pumping systems get older, the low operating pressure compared to the high closing allows the system to continue to operate at the originally designed output.
  • Cascade labyrinth allows for wide passage ways. Large dripper construction allows robust outlet chamber with large exit allowing the dripper to function with difficult water conditions. It therefore resists blockage throughout the dripper.
  • Very importantly the dripper is completely frost and split resistant.
  • The stake has several key features:
  • The 'H' cross section allows the water to travel down the stake without being proud of the side of the 'H' meaning that polythene, leaves and other potential obstructions cannot interfere with and divert the flow away from the bag or block, potentially onto the floor.
  • Another advantage of this deep 'H' is that the stake can work at quite low angles (below 45') and without adversely affecting the flow to the plant.
  • The inverted ascending chevrons facilitate the water flow being pushed outwards to facilitate lateral water movement 

For more information call 01430 422222, go to our contact page, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Nick Field joins CMW

We are delighted to announce that Nick Field joined CMW Horticulture on October 23rd 2017.

With almost 30 years experience, both in the UK and internationally, Nick is already very well-known and highly respected in the protected cropping and soft fruit sectors of the horticulture industry. After technical college, Nick trained initially in Micro-electronic engineering, specialising in maintenance and support for IBM PC computers. This was followed by a period with one of the UK's leading water treatment equipment manufacturers, and his introduction to the protected cropping sector.

Nick joined Priva in 1990, initially as a service and commissioning engineer, later moving to a technical sales role before becoming Commercial Manager for Priva in the UK as well as heading up Priva's expansion into the soft fruit sector.

After more than 25 years with Priva, Nick was invited to start up a new office for Priva in California to focus on the development of Priva's soft fruit business in that region and to look after their business on the west coast of both the USA and Canada.

Nick's responsibilities in both the UK and North America included the management of key accounts in both markets.

As one of the UK's leading Priva dealers, CMW are confident that Nick's considerable expertise in all aspects of climate and irrigation control, digital labour registration, digital crop registration - together with technical and heating systems generally - will further enhance CMW's ability to provide the best in technical and sales support to both new and existing customers.

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +44 (0) 7522 227352


Royal opening at Standhill Farm

20th September was a big day for Jim Shanks and his family, as the Princess Royal officially opened their 16,000 square metre state-of-the-art tomato nursery in the Scottish Borders.

The opening ceremony was a happy and informal occasion as well as a great opportunity for the staff at Standhill Farm, their families, local children and the official party, to meet the Princess. 

The nursery, a turnkey project designed and built by CMW and Certhon, was planted on January 13th 2017, and in production with premium varieties Sweetelle and Annamay on 27th March. 

For more details about the project concept and its successful implementation, go here

Jan 31st 2017- free irrigation masterclass, Harlow

Priva, Grodan and Groen Agro recently published a comprehensive irrigation guide entitled Best Practice Guidelines for Greenhouse Water Management. Of course, actively implementing good irrigation practice is essential for maximum crop production and quality.

So Priva have decided to take the message direct to growers by arranging a seminar in Harlow on January 31st 2017 which will follow the principles outlined in the book. The one-day seminar is free to those who pre-register. You can register on-line here. Lunch and refreshments will be provided and all those who attend will be given a free copy of the book to take away.

CMW to host GrowSave seminar

The Dutch greenhouse industry has been working on the Het Nieuwe Telen (HNT) project for several years. 'Het Nieuwe Telen' translates roughly to New Way of Growing or Next Generation Growing, a title chosen to suggest that new attitudes to basic environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity can make a significant contribution to the overall aim of the HNT project: - 

To optimise crop production without unnecessary consumption of energy and water.

Although UK growers have received tidbits of information about HNT from time to time, it has been difficult to get a fuller picture. A summary of the progress of the HNT project so far was published in Dutch at the end of 2015, but so far there is no English translation.

However, AHDB funded GrowSave have now arranged two seminars during April 2016 which will be delivered by four specialists with proven expertise in HNT, including one of the authors of the 'Basic Principles of HNT' published last year.

The first seminar, on 20th April, will be hosted by CMW, followed by a repeat of the event in Harlow on 21st April.

Full details of both seminars, which are free to levy payers, can be found on the GrowSave website, where you can also reserve your place at whichever venue suits you best.

The following video (with English subtitles) gives an overview of some of the benefits that HNT can bring.


 The seminars are sponsored by:


Our Partners

A selection of our partners
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