Bicester Avenue

Bicester AvenueBicester Avenue offers you an extensive home, garden and leisure shopping centre just south of Bicester town centre.

History of Bicester Avenue

We started as Bicester Garden Centre in 1976, when we offered a tiny nursery and turf field attached to a small landscaping business. Blooms of Bressingham bought the centre in 2000 and significantly expanded it and sowed the seeds of the spectacular centre of today.

In April 2007, after a major redesign, we re-opened as Bicester Avenue, a new concept 'Home, Garden and Leisure Shopping Centre' that has since become a massive success story, attracting literally millions of customers and winning two prestigious retail industry awards in the last few years.

Bicester Avenue now

Bicester Avenue Garden Centre is run by a team of helpful, friendly and knowledgeable staff. The centre's core business is horticulture, with an excellent array of top quality growing stock and gardening accessories. Complementing this is a huge range of home and giftware products, a food hall selling gourmet provisions and fresh local produce and a restaurant and cafe serving delicious home-cooked snacks and meals.

A year-round calendar of events includes celebrations of events such as Valentine's Day and Burns Night whilst at Christmas inspirational displays draw people from far and wide to admire the spectacle and revel in the festive atmosphere.

How Bicester Avenue is part of Eco Bicester

At Bicester Avenue we take our environmental responsibilities for the site seriously.

Recycling

Over two thirds of Bicester Avenue's waste is cardboard produced by the various shops. This is either reused by the garden centre encouraging customers to take plants home rather than using plastic bags, or removing cardboard to be recycled locally.

Other waste streams also recycled are plastics such as PET, HDPE and PVC (1-3) through a contracted waste company. Pallets are collected by a local company that either reuses them or turns damaged pallets into woodchips. Other waste timber produced by the site are collected by HM Prison Bullingdon where they remanufacture it into products such as birdboxes giving local offenders skills that they can use on release. Glass produced by the on site restaurant is also recycled and garden waste produced by the maintenance team is composted and reused on site.

Wildlife

The Bicester Avenue site is home to a thriving diverse wildlife population including rabbits, foxes, dear, hedgehogs, pheasants, squirrels, robins and even kingfishers and red kites have all been seen at Bicester Avenue. Efforts are made to manage some of the areas on site with this in mind by creating habitat piles and leaving decomposing wood in areas for small animal and invertebrates to thrive. Bicester Avenue also manages some of the grassland at the rear of the site to grow so that it produces cover, food and habitat for birds, mammals, insects and reptiles. Our pond is also home to a diverse range of species.

We try to encourage everyone else to bring wildlife into their own gardens. We regularly hold events at Bicester Avenue Garden Centre in partnership with the RSPB and Wildlife Trust where people can come and get free advice on how to care for and bring more birds and animals into their gardens. Our Garden Centre always carries a large selection of bird food, bird boxes, and insect and hedgehog homes.

Energy saving

On the energy front, the site has been fitted with light sensors and timers ensuring that lighting around the Bicester Avenue site is used efficiently and only when required. The irrigation of the garden centre is supplied by our own onsite bore hole so that we do not use valuable mains water and approximately 2 million gallons of water is collected from the roofs and car parks in an underground reservoir. This is used to irrigate the lawns, flower beds and hedges around the site making it a more pleasant site for their customers.

The centre monitors its energy and water usage regularly each month aiming to reduce its consumption, by doing this they have reduced electricity usage by 10% and mains water usage by 20 percent during the past 12 months. This will be ongoing with hopefully further reduction s in the coming years. On top of this we encourage employees working on the site not to use cars to travel to work unless absolutely necessary and to car share where possible.

Free events

Bicester Avenue has also forged links with the wider community by running a variety of free events encouraging the community to participate such as Halloween, fireworks displays, Santa’s arrival to name but a few.

We supported the local 7th Bicester Scout group and raised with their help over £500 with a charity car wash. During August 2011 we also raised £1865 through an event for Garth Day services and we have also helped to create a sensory garden on waste land adjacent to rainbow playgroup in Bicester. Finally we also work with local schools and groups by delivering “Grow Your Own” talks encouraging people to producing their own fruit and veg.

Getting there

Bicester Avenue can be reached by foot or cycling from the town centre, it is located just off the A41 near Bicester Village.

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