Broadstairs Town Team Mains to Rains project

Broadstairs Town Team community Garden Group is working in Partnership with Southern Water to make our Community Gardens more sustainable through our Mains to Rains project.


Back in autumn 2022 after an exceptionally dry summer Broadstairs Town Team Garden Group started to review how we could make our gardens more sustainable. Our focus was specifically on what changes we could introduce to help our gardens to survive long periods of drought. We had already successfully introduced using watering holes where we planted new shrubs. (Squash bottles with the bottom removed sunk into the ground). This encourages the plant to develop deeper roots thus making them less susceptible drying out in dry spells.

We also looked closely at our watering methods. Our group are very fortunate to have partner organisations that give us unrestricted access to mains water. While this is very much appreciated we wanted to play our part in reducing our dependence on mains water. To this end we approached Southern Water with a request to have a representative come to talk to our group about ways we could potentially work in partnership to gain leverage to site a water butt on business premises near our gardens. Sadly, at this stage Southern Water did not have an expert in rainwater usage and storage.

A chance meeting at a local Southern Water community event led to a discussion about their Clean Rivers and Seas pathfinder projects. This in turn led to a meeting with their project manager. By early summer 2023 we had found the right person to speak to at Southern Water and our “Mains to Rains” partnership project began. Together we started to look at potential commercial sites near our gardens where we could get permission to site a rain water capture butt or tank.

The Crampton Tower Museum have always supported us with grace and favour access to their water tap. They were more than happy to agree to the siting of at least one water butt on their premises. Site visits ensued and I am delighted to report that on 7th November Southern Water installed two large water butts in close proximity to our community garden at Crampton Tower.

The water butts are now full and are ready to support all the gardeners at Crampton Tower next season.

We are also looking at other locations and we hope this partnership will deliver more Mains to Rains savings next season.


If you are interested in finding out more about the Mains to Rains project or join Broadstairs Town Team’s group of garden volunteers please email [email protected] or message us on our website

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