Aquaponic fish and fruit gardeners facing eviction despite eco results

Aquaponis Credit: ITV Meridian
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Their exciting work has been showcased by the Royal Horticultural Society. But two gardening pioneers have told us their dreams have been shattered - with their greenhouse set to be replaced by a car park.

Neil Whichelow and Claire Ellison have been experimenting with aquaponics - fish, fruit, vegetable and salad farming combined.

But despite spectacular, and tasty results, they're now being evicted by the agricultural college that's sponsored them.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Self-financed, the work here has been displayed by the Royal Horticultural Society. All the produce grown in water, fed by fish. However the greenhouse itself is owned by nearby Plumpton College, and they say the project has no industrial future, and so they're pulling the plug.

Credit: ITV Meridian

The fish are feeding the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish. So it's basically an eco-system that's kept in balance without any dodgy chemicals or pesticides or anything like that, which means you grow incredibly good quality food without any contamination and we're hoping that by doing it through open source and crowdfunding that we'll be able to change the way we're producing food basically and aim toward food sovereignty in an ethical future."

Neil Whichelow, Aquaponic Life

The Principal of Plumpton College, Jeremy Kerswell, says they've been pleased to support the business, the college's main responsibility is to "respond to the needs of the industries they support".

He says: "In this case, we've been really pleased to support this business as a new business venture by providing them access to extra capacity on our current site. But ultimately the college's main responsibility is to respond to the needs of the industries that we support in terms of future workforce and skills development and our success is determined by our ability to equipt our students with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the future."