A polytunnel is a tunnel made of polyethylene used to grow plants that require a higher temperature and/or humidity than that which is available in the environment.

Polytunnels are mainly used in temperate regions. They are similar in principle to greenhouses and cloches (row covers). Modern designs allow sowing and harvesting machines to move inside the structures so as to automate production. The production of strawberries for example, has been revolutionised in the UK by their use, replacing Spanish fruit of lower quality. Other soft fruits such as raspberries and blackberries are also cultivated in the same way in the UK. The industry is mainly located in Herefordshire. However, there have been complaints about the visual effect on country scenery, a dispute which has yet to be resolved.

External links

*BBC News - [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3995261.stm The secret life of the strawberry]

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