SIX colleagues have clocked up 185 years between them at a North Yorkshire plant nursery.

Johnsons of Whixley, at Kirk Hammerton, the UK's largest commercial nursery, is celebrating the long service of half a dozen team members.

Head of production and procurement, Jonathan Whittemore, along with sales manager, Tony Coles and spray and irrigation controller Wayne Atkinson have each worked at the business for 25 years.

Operations manager Steven Green and assistant senior production manager, Ian Nelson have both reached 35 years.

Johnsons' retail sales manager, Mark Reynard, also celebrated his 40th anniversary at the company in June.

To highlight the combined anniversary, each staff member received a certificate and vouchers valued between £750 and £250.

Another 27 members of staff have racked up more than 830 years combined; Johnsons directors and chairman have served 157 of those years between them.

Steven Green, who joined the company upon leaving school, said: "The variation, the chance to learn, the opportunity to travel, the people I have worked with over the years and the relationship I have with the Richardsons who I grew up with in Whixley have all contributed to my length of service at Johnsons."

Ian Nelson also said: "I've been fortunate to have the chance to grow my career alongside the growth of the company itself. I genuinely love plants, but ultimately it is about the people you work with, and there's always been a good team here. Retaining that spirit is precious."

Jonathan Whittemore said: "I have always enjoyed the people at Johnsons – we are a good bunch. The constant challenge the company has been able to provide me has always given me enjoyment, but mostly it is working for a company of which I am incredibly proud."

Chairman John Richardson said: "It is with pleasure and sincere thanks that we enjoy the real contribution made by long-serving staff. We look forward to them being with us for years to come."