Plant nursery drones put an eye in the sky

The new airborne cameras will enable Johnsons of Whixley to monitor more than 200 acres of fragmented sites remotely. (S)
The new airborne cameras will enable Johnsons of Whixley to monitor more than 200 acres of fragmented sites remotely. (S)

One of the largest commercial nursery companies in Europe has invested more than £1,000 in drone camera technology to help it keep an eye on all parts of its Vale of York business.

The new airborne cameras will enable staff at Johnsons of Whixley to remotely monitor stock levels across more than 200 acres of fragmented sites, as well as crop quality and irrigation levels.

A dedicated team of staff members will be trained to operate the technology, which has a 3.5-mile range and can capture Ultra HD (4K) quality video.

Group managing director Graham Richardson said: “There are a variety of envisaged uses for the new technology and we are excited about the possibilities around stock monitoring and management.

“As a business we are always eager to find ways to boost our efficiency, streamline processes and embrace technology that can help us ultimately deliver a higher quality of product to our customers.

“And by training staff members to use the technology we are aiding their continued professional development.”

Established in 1921, Johnsons of Whixley is a family-run plant nursery business between Harrogate and York.