Horsham in Bloom plans continue despite drought

Members of Horsham District Council, Horsham In Bloom and Horsham Green Gym during the planting in North Street, Horsham

Members of Horsham District Council, Horsham In Bloom and Horsham Green Gym during the planting in North Street, Horsham

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NOW THERE is a regional hosepipe ban in place in the Horsham District, Horsham District Council has been working with Horsham in Bloom to support the water shortage by using plants that will need less water.

A mixture of herbaceous perennials and grasses were planted along the grass verges on North Street in Horsham as part of an initiative from Horsham in Bloom, where a Jubilee Ribbon has been formed to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June this year.

Plants have been chosen to survive the difficult blend of wet winters and hot dry summers with minimal watering and, being perennials, they won’t need planting and watering again each summer like the bedding plants that have been used in the past.

Students from Brinsbury College near Pulborough and volunteers from Horsham’s Green Gym joined staff from Horsham District Council and volunteers from Horsham in Bloom for the planting in late March this year, just in time for the hosepipe ban, which started on 5 April 2012.

The project is financed by Horsham in Bloom in partnership with Novartis. Horsham District Council’s contribution is technical support from its Parks team.

Using perennial plants, which suit the conditions and need minimal watering, is just one of the actions that Horsham District Council is taking to save water in relation to its own services.

Other actions by Horsham District Council include:

- ensuring essential Horsham District Council services can still be provided during a drought or water shortage

- only using recycled water in cleansing

- only using recycled water to water plants

- continuing to ensure water is used wisely and not wasted in Council offices and buildings

- closing down all public water features (Shelley Fountain, The Forum fountain and Bishopric stream in Horsham)

- only using recycled water when running the features temporarily to ensure they are maintained

Horsham District Council has a plan on standby in case of a drought in the District.

Although Southern Water is the water company directly responsible for water in the Horsham District, Horsham District Council will help out to ensure safety for residents.

Horsham District Council will identify, and where appropriate provide, sites for water companies to use for storing and distributing bottled water if the situation becomes more critical.

Horsham District Council will also be working with parish councils to identify vulnerable people in the towns and parishes and help where public health is involved.

The Sussex Adverse Weather Framework will be activated in response to drought conditions based on advice from the Environment Agency.

Councillor Sue Rogers, Horsham District Council’s Cabinet Member for a Safer and Healthier District, said: “I am very pleased to see that all the key agencies are working together to ensure that we are well prepared to respond to whatever challenges possible water shortages could create.”

The Horsham District Council website www.horsham.gov.uk will provide updates and information will be posted on the Council’s Facebook and Twitter @horshamdc pages to keep people updated.

For further information about Horsham in Bloom, visit www.horshaminbloom.org.uk or call Horsham in Bloom on 01403 215285.