Couple retire from Pannal nursery after 30 years

Ross and Linda Burks who are retiring from Brookside Nursery
Ross and Linda Burks who are retiring from Brookside Nursery

The owners of Brookside Nurseries have retired after 30 years at the site on Leeds Road, Pannal, passing their business on to their neighbours.

Pannal residents Ross and Linda Burks took over the nurseries from Linda’s father, Geoff Harrison, in 1983 when he died after owning the business for ten years.

Linda had worked alongside Geoff since he bought Brookside, with Ross helping out at weekends, and the couple have continued to build the business since his death.

“We built up a good business and we would like to think the new owners will take it even further,” Ross said.

Ross and Linda have traced the history of Brookside as a market nursery back to 1927, at which point parts of the land were sold off to local businessmen such as greengrocers who used the land to supply their shops.

It was only when the land was leased to Geoff, however, that Brookside really began to thrive.

Ross said: “My father-in-law was a good all-round grower and he started getting that many people wanting his produce that the business started to become a retail nursery.”

Ross and Linda have also added their own features to the site in their efforts to maintain a modern business.

“Initially it was two little greenhouses, and now it’s state of the art,” Ross said.

And with the new owners, who run an antique centre and own some land nearby, planning their own series of projects for the site, Ross and Linda believe Brookside Nurseries will continue to grow.

Ross and Linda would like to thank all their customers in Pannal and throughout Harrogate, along with their employees, without whose help over the years they would not have had as much success as they did.

They would also like to wish the new owners, Graham Watson and Jason Clay, every success in their new venture with Brookside Nurseries and all the projects they have lined up.