Natural Selection News

Shane's Story - Shane in hospital

Shane’s Story

National Sales Manager for Long Rake Spar/Natural Selection, Shane McCormick has decided to share his story during Skin Cancer Awareness month, because in his words,

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Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo Rocks!

In January 81 schools painted stones that were donated by Natural Selection and Silverton Aggregates for the Colchester Zoo Rocks project. Colchester Zoo is a zoological

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RHS Hampton Court 2018

This week’s RHS Hampton Court Flower has showcased some breath-taking gardens to inspire horticulturalists and novice planters alike and we were delighted to be part

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New Brochure Launch

Long Rake Spar are pleased to announce the launch of their new Natural Selection Brochure for 2018. In time for the start of the landscaping

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Natural Selection NPS

Natural Selection latest NPS

Long Rake Spar’s decorative aggregate brand Natural Selection has recently surpassed industry standards with a NPS (Net Promoter Score) of +67. We asked a series of questions covering areas such as customer service, product quality, and price to gain a deeper insight into all areas of the business. We then looked at how that feedback can be translated into meaningful action and improvement across the Natural Selection brand and the wider business. We feel that ultimately the success of our business, and all businesses, is reliant upon customer satisfaction. If customers are not happy with our products and service we

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Shane's Story - Shane in hospital

Shane’s Story

National Sales Manager for Long Rake Spar/Natural Selection, Shane McCormick has decided to share his story during Skin Cancer Awareness month, because in his words, “If just one person sees this, changes their behaviour, and saves themselves as a result, then it’s worth it.” Shane was first diagnosed with skin cancer in 2017 after 13 years of being a Landscape Gardener. Shane had switched roles about eight years before the skin cancer diagnosis but the damage of 13 years working outside without sun protection had already been done. Shane admits that he never considered using sunscreen or covering up when

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skin cancer awareness

Long Rake Spar promote Skin Cancer Awareness month

Many of you will know that May is skin cancer awareness month. As people who use our products predominately work outdoors, it seems only fitting to promote awareness. It is close to our heart too, with our very own National Sales Manager Shane McCormick being a survivor of skin cancer, which he can attribute largely to working outdoors in his younger days as a landscape gardener. It only takes a moment to cover up and apply sunscreen!

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NMBS exhibition 2024

NMBS Exhibition 2024

We are back at the NMBS and ready to see all our customers over the next couple of days! With a selection of aggregates to view in our very popular Aggregates Display Stands (which are making their way to Builder’s Merchants nationwide), you can talk to our friendly and knowledgeable Area Sales Managers and find out how we can help you. Held at the Coventry Building Society Arena in Coventry and with over 280 exhibitors,  NMBS is the biggest event for Builder’s Merchants this year.

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Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo Rocks!

In January 81 schools painted stones that were donated by Natural Selection and Silverton Aggregates for the Colchester Zoo Rocks project. Colchester Zoo is a zoological garden situated near Colchester, England. The zoo was opened in 1963. This project was to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the opening of Colchester Zoo. We, along with Silverton Aggregates supplied approximately 12,000 Scottish Cobbles and around 160 Cambrian Boulders, which were painted by over 11,500 students across Essex, Suffolk and London! On return back to the Zoo, these beautiful stones have been added to the commemorative garden located by the entrance of the Zoo.

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Commonwealth Games

Natural Selection Products at the Commonwealth Games

We are really pleased to see these lovely images of our 40mm Blue Slate at one of the Commonwealth Games sites in Birmingham. The Welsh Slate was sold through our Merchant, Davis Aggregates to their customer F.B & Sons, Lawns & Landscapes. It was F B & Sons who undertook the regeneration of the area, laying the aggregate and planting a variety of drought-tolerant plants that not only provide long-lasting colour through the year, but also a wonderful scent for passers by. It is always great to see where our products end up!

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Welcome to the Team Jessica!

Previous Job roles: Long Rake Spar welcomes our new sales Co-ordinator. Jessica Joined the Natural Selection team after Christmas, having previously worked as a Care Assistant in a care home.  She has also worked in the famous Bakewell Pudding Shop, which is just down the road from our head quarters.  About Jess: I love to work as a team and hope my bubbly, confident personality will help with customer services aspects of the job. When I am not at work, I spend my time with my 5-year-old son Chester who keeps me very busy! I also love a good Netflix

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Megan Brooker

Welcome to New Account Manager Megan Brooker

Natural Selection is delighted to welcome new Account Manager, Megan Brooker for the Central England and Wales region. Megan has many years industry experience. She previously working at IBC Buying Group, Tobermore and Brett Landscaping. Megan is a brilliant addition to the Natural Selection team. She has a well rounded knowledge of the industry and likes to be part of a Merchants ‘extended’ team. Rachel Aiers who previously covered this area, as well as the South West, will now be managing Merchant Accounts in the South West region. This change aims to improve coverage of the respective regions. Megan loves

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Long Rake Spar NMBS Race Track Winners

We presented the winners of the NMBS race track competition with their Amazon gift vouchers Following on from a successful NMBS exhibition, we presented the Long Rake Spar Race NMBS Race Track Prize winners with their Amazon vouchers. Our account managers visited; Burnley Plumbing, Bradford’s Building Supplies and Alter Landscapes to shake hands with our worthy winners.  We created a new concept for the 2021 stand; ‘The Long Rake Spar Scalextric Race Track’. Our customers were invited to do 2 laps on the race track whilst being timed. Those ranking in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place from over the 2

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The Long Rake Team stood in front of the exhibition stand.

Back in the fast lane at the NMBS Exhibition

As a result of Covid the past year and a half has been a struggle to say the least. We were unable to provide the customer service and support we pride ourselves on. Our account managers who are usually racing around the country visiting our customers and helping with marketing support set up were banished to their kitchen table. Over 150 aggregate stands and 500 Point of sale boards set up in builders merchants.. We are over the moon to be back out there and have certainly made up for lost time. Our account managers and marketing department have set

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Trio of Surfacing Solutions: New for 2019

For 2019 we are delighted to introduce three stunning new products into our decorative range. These products were chosen to tie into current market trends which have seen sales in grey landscapingstone outsell the traditional tones of gold and buff. The three new products are Graphite Chippings 14mm as well as Heritage Quartz gravel and Ocean Blue pebbles; both available in 10mm, 14, and 20mm sizes. Our Graphite Chippings are stunning granite chippings with flecks of blue/grey tones, which deepen when the product is wet. This hard-wearing gravel will provide a contemporary feel to any landscape design and works well

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RHS Hampton Court 2018

This week’s RHS Hampton Court Flower has showcased some breath-taking gardens to inspire horticulturalists and novice planters alike and we were delighted to be part of it. Each year at RHS Hampton Court, the Celebrity Theatre features engaging demonstrations and discussions with the nation’s favourite TV gardeners and surrounding this year’s stage were 3 front gardens, created for visitors to enjoy. Long Rake Spar were delighted to be invited to support the ‘Mend Our Mountains’ garden in association with Everest. The garden is part of the British Mountaineering Council’s campaign to repair the UK’s mountain paths, bridleways and bridges to

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CCLA: A Family Garden at RHS Chatsworth

Following its successful launch in 2017, RHS Chatsworth is returning this June with an eye-catching array of landscapes and displays. Amongst the striking collection of show gardens is the CCLA: A Family Garden which has been designed by Amanda Waring and Laura Arison and built by G K Wilson Landscape Services. Long Rake Spar has been approached by Amanda to supply decorative aggregate to match the Bradstone paving used throughout the garden as well as Multi-Purpose Compost for planting beds. The CCLA garden has been designed to bring together aspects of family life with elements of the outdoors. Built across

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New Brochure Launch

Long Rake Spar are pleased to announce the launch of their new Natural Selection Brochure for 2018. In time for the start of the landscaping season, the brochure has been designed to help stockists, landscapers and end users select the best decorative aggregates for their needs. Originally launched in 2008, the Natural Selection has become an industry recognised collection of leading decorative aggregate products. The Selection includes a unique range of products that have been carefully chosen to add aesthetic appeal and durability to domestic and commercial projects. The new brochure demonstrates the company’s continuous commitment to product development, with

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Merchants Win £100 Vouchers in Customer Satisfaction Survey

Earlier this year Long Rake Spar conducted a customer survey within the Builders Merchant Sector to ascertain the company’s customer service levels and performance as one of the UK’s largest independent decorative aggregate supplies. This invaluable feedback was supplied by their existing customer base who were then entered into a prize draw with the chance to win one of five, £100 high street vouchers. Sales Director Richard Maughan stated “It’s crucial that we maintain an understanding of what our customers require, to listen and respond to their suggestions on how we can improve and in doing so shape our products

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A View of the Olive Tree

The annual Southport Flower Show welcomed a new entrant in the featured show gardens this year, with C&W Berry Builders Merchants undertaking their first show garden with “A View of an Olive Tree”, which was designed to embrace the Mediterranean theme of the show. This award winning garden was designed and created by Kirman Design and picked up a total of FOUR awards including the much coveted Best in Show, along with Best Large Garden, Best Theme of Show and Best Outside Garden. The concept behind the show garden was to provide an inspirational insight into what can be achieved

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Expanded Scottish Range

We have expanded our product selection of Scottish Pebbles and Cobbles to include a further 4 additional product sizes. The addition of the 8-14mm and 14-20mm pebbles as well as 30-50mm and 100mm+ cobbles complement the already established best-selling sizes of 20-30mm pebbles and 50-75mm cobbles. These naturally rounded, hard wearing granite pebbles and cobbles are a recognised industry favourite and the addition of these further sizes enables stockists to embrace the sales potential these new sizes offer. Call us for further information on 01629 636210 or email [email protected] Products: Scottish Pebbles

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Long Rake the Approved Suppliers to Merchants

Long Rake Spar are now approved suppliers to all 5 major buying groups within the Builders Merchant sector. With over 145 years’ experience in the decorative aggregate sector, Long Rake Spar have gained national status as one of the UK’s largest suppliers of hard landscaping materials into builders merchants. Our products are sourced from quarries throughout the British Isles, Europe and the Far East and part of our ongoing strategy is to continue to find and introduce new and unique decorative aggregates to the UK market. This forward thinking approach has resonated within the builder’s merchant sector as we are

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NBG Conference Show

Long Rake Spar had a fantastic time at the NBG Conference this week. We were there from the 3rd to the 5th enjoying both the day and evening activities. We had a productive 3 days at the conference, many orders were placed and we made some great contacts. A huge effort had been made to entertain us in the evenings which was very much appreciated. The first night was the welcome dinner which had a F1 themed event and saw the members of our Sales Team getting fully involved with the racing car games. Unfortunately our Area Sales manager Chris

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Spiralling Into Control Garden

This month we’ve been working to support the Spiralling Into Control garden at the RHS Tatton Flower Show, by donating our Derbyshire Gold, market leading Goldpath and striking Scottish Boulders. The garden, which was designed by Simon Fagg and built by Appleyard Landscape is part of the RHS’ Greening Grey Britain campaign and aimed to show visitors that they can create a front garden that incorporates the functionality of everyday life, alongside inspirational planting and sustainable water management. The design offers a responsible way of dealing with rainwater runoff with its green roofed car port and the SuDS compliant Flexi-Pave

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