At nortenergy, we’re very proud of our Polycrub. It’s a tremendously strong structure, and is built with a solid green ethos. The frame is made from redundant pipe from the aquaculture industry , which gives this material another new, long, useful purpose. During the last few years, tens of kilometres of waste pipe have been diverted from landfill in Shetland.
The Polycrub is covered using thick polycarbonate. We use this covering because we are confident that it has the longest lifespan of anything available and it is is certainly the most durable for harsh climates.
Shetland has a well-merited reputation for wind, and we know the Polycrub can withstand quite a bit of it! If the Polycrub can stand up to our winter gales here in Shetland, it can survive anywhere.
The Polycrub is a much more permanent structure than many of the kit-form polytunnels. For this reason we advise customers to check with the Local Planning Authority whether a chosen site will require planning permission or Agricultural Prior Notification.
Like anything around the home and garden, we recommend that Polycrubs given an annual maintenance check.
The ‘Polycrub’ concept began as a community project for the Northmavine Community Development Company, in Northmavine, Shetland. Folk in Northmavine were keen to grow produce that hadn’t travelled hundreds (often thousands) of miles to get to Shetland.
Growing produce locally also meant it would be fresh. Really fresh fruit and veg is not something we islanders at the very tip of Britain are very accustomed to!
Climate Challenge Fund funding meant that we were able to build 12 community polytunnels in our local community of Northmavine, in the far north of Shetland. Around 50 people now grow fresh fruit and veg locally, in a sheltered growing space.
Before the project started, we looked at various designs and put ideas together to create a polytunnel that could stand up to the Shetland weather. Some people in Shetland had already built sturdy growing spaces, so we tweaked these ideas and added design details of our own to create a growing space that could withstand our harsh climate.
The community project created a lot of interest. Community groups and individuals wanted to recreate our design. We branded the structures as the ‘Polycrub’ (‘poly’ from the polycarbonate covering we use and a ‘crub’ in Shetland is a sheltered growing area).
We now sell Polycrubs in kit form in Shetland and beyond. All profits from sales are passed back to our parent company, Northmavine Community Development Company, to be used for the benefit of the Northmavine community.