Farming News - Farm shop builds 2,500,000 litre reservoir to recycle winter rainwater
Farm shop builds 2,500,000 litre reservoir to recycle winter rainwater
A Meon Valley farm shop has invested £20,000 into a water reservoir holding the same amount of water as an Olympic sized swimming pool. The reservoir stores winter rainwater which will be used to help grow its soft fruit during the summer and to reduce the pressure on local water supplies.
Westlands Farm Shop near Wickham has constructed the reservoir to provide water for its strawberries and raspberries during the summer months. The soft fruit is grown in polytunnels at the farm in Bishops Waltham.
The family-run farm moved 3,000 tonnes of soil around to create the water feature and the fenced off area to protect the wildlife that surrounds it. It collects rainwater from the cattle shed roofs and polytunnels on the farm to water its crops, even during the hottest of summers.
With such a large capacity, Westlands Farm Shop will be able to grow an extra 65 tonnes of strawberries during 2022 to offer more locally grown produce and encourage the reduction of food miles within the local community.
Previously, the farm collected water from cattle shed roofs which was stored in a purpose-built tank. However, the capacity was too small and the farm was left relying on the water mains during hotter periods which was putting additional pressure on the local water supply network.
Graham Collett, farm and farm shop owner said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do so we wanted to find a way that we could recycle the rainwater we get throughout the winter months.
“The purpose of building the reservoir was to ensure that we could have access to an even larger water supply and to stop putting pressure on the local water mains. We also wanted to displace food imported from abroad to reduce food miles.
“Now that we do have access to a larger source of water we are expanding our area of polytunnels by an additional 15,000 square metres to grow even more strawberries for our customers.”