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Oakham allotment holders win an the Green Apple environmental award

Allotment holders received an environmental award for their efforts to reduce the use of tap water.

The Oakham Smallholders Association, based on Kilburn Road, was granted a gold award from the Green Apple organisation for its environmental best practice.

The mission to reduce reliance on tap water stemmed from the dry summer of 2018.

Simon Barefoot
Simon Barefoot

Members set themselves a challenge to become self-sufficient. They wanted to make sure each shed and greenhouse on the site has at least one 1,000 litre water cube to harvest rainwater.

Association president Simon Barefoot said: "The real brains behind the project was Phil Hitchcock .

"Water is a valuable resource and potable water requires considerable amounts of energy and fossil fuels to both treat and transport it.

"By looking to eliminate the need to use potable water we would not only be helping to save a precious resource but also reducing our carbon footprint."

The project cost just £23 as many materials were sourced for free.

It reduced potable water usage from 76 m3 in 2018 to zero in 2019 - a cost saving of £88 and a 20kg reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

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