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Every home should have one

Date Published: 19/11/2009

Obviously, the headline refers to a ‘pee bale’. What else?

Staff at the National Trust Wimpole Estate attracted quite some attention recently with the story of their open-air, non-flushing, recyclable, compostable, loo-with-a-view.

In an enlightened move, the gardeners at the stunning Wimpole Hall, in Royston, Cambridgeshire, (the associated Wimpole Home Farm is converting to organic with OF&G) have installed their bales against a spare wall and the men use it in preference to the more traditional water closet.

This has a number of benefits, not least saving many unnecessary toilet flushes and it gives a marvellous natural boost to the compost that it is eventually added to. I imagine it also removes the need for a walk to wherever the toilets are, so you could say it also results in saved man-hours.

That’s not a sexist turn of phrase, by the way; bale relief is limited to the men because apparently their urine is less acidic (plus other fairly obvious practical reasons, one would imagine).

They certainly got plenty of attention for their new habit, with not only a lighthearted piece by the local BBC TV news, but an interview on Radio Four’s Today programme, no less. Links to both are here.

Though it crossed my mind, it’s far from clear that the ladies would stand for a similar arrangement being enacted here at the Old Estate Yard…