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Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 05:43 GMT 06:43 UK
DTI creates foliage strategy
These are better than civil servants can expect
The Department of Trade and Industry has created a 2,000-word set of guidelines on its tactics for deploying office plants, it is reported.

The Times newspaper said the DTI paper indicated staff could reasonably expect a 5-6ft plant every three to four seats in the modern open plan sections of the office.

In the older sections of offices, staff will be entitled to one display per 120 square metres of "useable floor space".

The newspaper said the document prescribed an ideal for the bureaucrats shrubbery of oasis effects with tall plants where possible.

It said smaller plants and low-level troughs would soon be dispatched from the offices.

In grim tones the document is said to warn: "In no instances shall displays be seen as personal property and moved, particularly into cellular offices where their benefit to all and impact is dramatically lessened."

The newspaper said the strategy was prompted by inconsistencies in plant deployment, with the document bemoaning "anomalous situations".

There is also room in the strategy to warn those who bring in their own foliage, the Times said.

"Staff may continue to provide their own plants, providing they are maintained by their owners and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner and not a) intrusive or b) a nuisance to others."

The newspaper wryly notes that this will be of particular interest to the department's secretary of state Patricia Hewitt, who herself brings plants in from home.

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