Water Butts and Hosepipe Bans!
For an island nation, the British seem curiously obsessed with water, one minute we are flooded, the next we seem to have drought conditions. Being surrounded by water, it does seem a little strange that we struggle so much with our water supply.
The UK has a very varied climate depending on where you live. In Scotland, Northern Ireland, North Wales and England, the climate is much damper than it is in the south due to the topography of the area and the Jet Stream which travels around the world at up to 200mph, at altitudes of between five and seven miles. It controls Britain’s weather and can make or break a summer holiday. The Jet Stream sucks warm air from the central Atlantic belt before heading in a giant wave over the top of the UK. It skirts just above Northern Ireland and crosses the top of Scotland and the Outer Hebrides towards the Shetland Islands.
The Jet stream is Mother Nature’s barrier between the cold air of the arctic and the warmer air from the equator. Where the 2 different weather patterns meet, there is consistent damp and windy conditions. The good news is that when the Jet Stream is in its usual position we have delightful weather, in summer and winter, however it occasionally slips north or south by a few degrees. The effects can be devastating, particularly in the South of the UK. Visit the Met Office for more information about the jet stream – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/learn-about/weather/types-of-weather/wind/what-is-the-jet-stream
Few people will forget 2012, where most of the South West, seemed to be under water. Images of local residents, emergency services and the army, surrounding houses with sandbags as the water levels just rose and rose appeared daily on the news.
It is almost ironic to note that only 6 months before the same part of the UK was enduring a hosepipe ban due to drought conditions! These extreme merry-go-rounds in weather are not as rare as people like to think and this year, once again, it looks highly likely that a hosepipe ban will be issued, if the national media’s predictions are correct. So it is now time to consider water conservation.
If you look at almost any survey of the UK’s favourite top 10 past times, gardening will feature fairly high up. For gardeners, the impact of a hosepipe ban can be devastating. Putting on our environmentally wellies, we firmly believe that if you live in a part of the country which is prone to hosepipe bans, then you should consider investing in water butts.
What size of water butt should you buy?
It is the most logical starting point, which goes hand in hand with – well how big is your garden and what type of soil do you have.
So the best way to work it out is to imagine that you had to water your garden with a watering can. How many standard sized (7 litre) watering cans would it take to water your plants sparingly?
A slim line water butt (120L) will give you 17 cans full.
Most hosepipe bans seem to last for several weeks at a time, if not months. If you need to use more than 4 watering cans per day, you will need to have several water butts, strategically positioned around your property. If you only have one down pipe with easy access to your garden, it is easy to join 2 water butts together with a simple connector kit.
The biggest problem is that most garden centres only sell very ugly green or black water butts. If you need to position your butts in a highly visible place and would like something a little more aesthetically pleasing, we recommend that you look at http://www.waterbuttsdirect.co.uk/ to find attractive, fun and funky water butts in all shapes, colours and sizes.
Remember, if it becomes a little bit desperate, you can always use bath water to refill your water butts.
The team at Purely Shutters love introducing our customers to environmentally sound methods of improving their homes and gardens. Please do look out for future blogs or let us know if you have a particular topic you would like us to discuss.