Reeding on the bog
Date Published: 22/08/2007
Our friends at Garden Organic, the UK’s leading organic growing charity, are flushed with joy at the moment with the expansion of their successful reed bed system which has been filtering their sewage for the past 15 years.
[Notes: I think that will be enough of the toilet humour and I have to hold my hands up to stealing Garden Organic’s own headline – it was just too good not to use!]
Garden Organic has expanded the existing set up to cope with growing staff and visitor numbers at its headquarters in Ryton, Warwickshire:
The environmentally sensitive, wetland technology area disposes of all effluent generated on site with the help of gravity, a series of pools with graded aggregate filters and the purifying powers of the Common, or Norfolk Reed (Phragmites australis) to cleanse waste water without the use of chemicals.
But the best bit of all is that the entire reed-bed system has been allowed to develop into a broadleaf woodland conservation area covering more than two acres and turns what was nasty, noxious waste into a wildlife garden bursting with biodiversity.
Reed beds are a great concept – taking what is otherwise a potential pollutant and which has to be extensively cleaned or discharged into the landscape or ocean – and turning it into pure water and a wildlife habitat to boot!
You have to think (note lack of science or research behind that statement) that organic producers who have land available for such a system would be in the perfect position to create more reed beds in this country, taking their organic credentials to another level of commitment. Garden Organic are a great example and teacher.