Exciting new retail space and plant centre opens in Coggeshall
- Credit: Bryan Shaw
Six months in the making, Markshall Estate Shop and Plant Centre in Coggeshall has now opened.
Essex Life was lucky enough to be invited to the launch event for the brand new 90-square-metre retail space, which is four times bigger than the previous shop at Markshall Estate.
Now open to the public, the exciting new addition will put the work of local craftspeople, artists, and suppliers in the spotlight.
The shop will stock more than 50 suppliers and all are locally sourced with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly items.
A new plant centre, two and half times the size of the original one, is also now open, bursting with locally grown plants and trees supplied by A&J Plants, and inspired by Markshall Estate Arboretum.
The project started back in February 2021 with works taking place in the Orchard Kitchen café at Markshall Estate Visitor Centre.
Underfloor heating was installed, powered by a new carbon-neutral 106kw biomass boiler.
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The new system will provide all of the hot water for the Visitor Centre, café, and Shop, and reduces Markshall Estate's carbon dioxide output by at least 9.5 tons each year.
Additional space was created in the café, meaning it can now welcome more visitors for delicious cakes, main meals, and afternoon teas.
Markshall Estate worked with architects Laurie Wood Associates, Smith Construction, CB Biomass, and electrician Adam Robey to deliver the six-month project.
Markshall Estate Executive Director, Kath Cockshaw, said: "Our new shop has enabled us to showcase more local suppliers and artists who have a connection with nature and the environment.
"As a conservation-led charity caring for Markshall Estate over the previous 50 years, we want to lead by example in everything we do. The installation of the new biomass boiler means we can do just that, saving tons of carbon each year.
"With COP26 and climate change at the forefront of everyone's minds, we want to help our visitors take climate action through making some simple lifestyle changes and inspire generations to become ambassadors for the environment."
The first local artist exhibiting in the shop and café is photographer Bryan Shaw, who has been a frequent visitor to Markshall Estate for over 20 years.
During this time, he has become intimately familiar with the landscape and the importance of arboriculture.
Visitors can view a selection of his photographs in the Orchard Kitchen café, which capture trees throughout the seasons.
The limited-edition prints will be available to order, along with matching greetings cards, in the new shop.
Follow Markshall Estate on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with its summer programme of events, from live music and outdoor theatre to family yoga and hands-on nature-inspired activities for all ages. With the Estate’s 50th birthday coming up, expect plenty of special events starting in November.