Snow forecast causes garden centre mayhem

Martin Halliday from Haywards Heath stocking up on ice essentials in time for the big freeze. Picture: Trevor Butler SUS-171201-160318001
Martin Halliday from Haywards Heath stocking up on ice essentials in time for the big freeze. Picture: Trevor Butler SUS-171201-160318001
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Shoppers have stocked up on rock salt and shovels following the recent yellow warning for snow across the South East this week.

South Downs Nurseries, in Brighton Road, Hassocks, has seen stock flying off the shelves as people brace for the freezing air and snow storms forecast for today (January 12) and tomorrow.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for snow, with an increasing risk of snow showers, severe overnight frost and icy conditions from today (Thursday) until Sunday.

South Downs Nurseries says they have now sold more than 150 shovels and hundreds more bags of rock salt as shoppers prepare for the onslaught.

Sarah Meads, from the marketing department at Tates Garden Centres, said: “When we saw the forecast, we decided to put out more stock. In three days, we have sold more stock than we did in the last six months.

“The most popular items have been rock salt and shovels but we have had a few customers buying sledges.

“I think customers are more concerned about staying safe than having fun in the snow.

“It has been a few years since we had snow so I think everyone is quite excited and bracing for it just in case it does arrive.

“In the retail business, we don’t like snow days because we are very quiet so we hope the disruption isn’t too severe.”

West Sussex Highways has a fleet of 25 gritter lorries and a team of 50 drivers to call upon 24-hours a day, seven days a week to deal with the predicted cold weather.

General Manager of Tates Steve Parsons said: “This is set to be the worst nationwide freeze for six years and people are taking the forecast seriously. We couldn’t get the stock out quick enough.”

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