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Buckland Food Growers Dig For Water-Saving Victory!

22nd October 2021


Imagine you had a 3-acre site to water and only two watering cans to do it with. On top of that, whenever you use your tap, 52 allotments who share your water supply, can’t use theirs. This was the frustrating reality for Buckland Food Growers before we helped them out with our Water-Saving Community Fund.

With pigs, hens, sheep, bees, fruit and vegetables to look after, Buckland Food Growers (BFG) rarely have a quiet moment. More than 50 local families proudly look after the 4 allotments and fruit garden. But however passionate about plants you are, trudging up and down in wellies with a heavy watering can is no one’s idea of fun.

BFG's Tank

The dream was to have a rainwater harvesting system that would collect water from their shed roof and store it in a big plastic cube called an IBC tank. The tank would be connected to a tap lower down the field. With the help of gravity, the speed of the water would provide enough pressure to use a hose. No more watering cans!

The only problem was a lack of funding.

A lucky tip-off from the Buckland Monachorum Parish Allotment Gardens Association (BMPAGA), who own the 52 allotments sharing the water supply, put the BFG onto our Water Saving Community Fund.

Needless to say, after telling us all about their struggles, we awarded the BFG enough money to cover all costs of the installation.


Happiness. Excitement. Gratitude. Relief. Motivated, the members of the BFG rallied together for the first time since the COVID lockdowns, and shovel by shovel laid the piping, installed the tank, and finally turned the tap on. It wasn’t all plain sailing, especially when they discovered a hole in the shed roof and experienced some delays in getting equipment. Project lead, Kate, adds, “We are a small group, and a lot of the members work full time and were only available at the weekends. So, installation took several months.”

But the good outweighed the bad.

Kate reported, “We initially thought that we would save approximately 3000 litres of water per year, but in fact, the system is so efficient that we could potentially save more”.

“It actually works!” one member said, excited by the new things they can now do. “Watering time has halved!” another cried, their gratitude evident. The success of the project has given a much-needed boost for this hardy group of growers.

And they aren’t stopping there!

BFG Trench for Pipe

“We have learnt new skills and techniques within the group which we will be able to use in the future,” a member explained. They have plans to site a second IBC container to add extra capacity and possibly a semi-automatic watering system to increase efficiency. Another added, “We are demonstrating that we are an innovative and forward-thinking organisation which all helps to recruit and maintain memberships”.

This group’s innovation is exactly the sort of thinking needed as climate change puts pressure on the amount of drinking water available around the world. Using rainwater instead of tap-water keeps the plants happy, the group’s costs down, and ensures a sustainable and resilient water supply for the future.

Well done, Buckland Food Growers!

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