National Trust reports on water issues

October 10, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Water is an important part of our lives, not only for the necessary aspects such as drinking, cooking and using domestic appliances, but also for relaxation such as gardening, water sports and fishing, or just walking along a river bank or sitting at a lakeside with a picnic. As far as the leisure aspects are concerned, the National Trust depends more than most on a good water supply for the upkeep of its many beautiful properties, as well as supporting the wildlife native to this country. It is now about to publish a report about the water-related issues facing it in the 21st century.

Over a quarter of NT properties are home to mammals, birds and fish which depend on water, whether it be ponds, streams or rivers. Food sources and breeding sites are put at risk through drought and fish die because of low oxygen levels. The Trust is now restoring wetlands, bogs and streams in appropriate areas in order to hold rainwater and release it slowly to avoid both droughts and floods.

At some properties, drought resistant plants have been introduced and water butts and similar devices installed to make the most of rainwater, whilst gardeners are now watering at different times of the day to conserve water. Low water usage toilets and water-pressure reducers are also doing their part to reduce the amounts used.

The Trust faced a bill of £1.46 million after last year’s floods and measures are being taken to reduce future risk, including turning a previous canal back into a stream with a natural floodplain.

For information on the challenges faced by the Trust on climate change see here.

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