12/02/2011
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How well do you 'Work Your Butt'?

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According to a recent WWT survey, nearly two thirds of those surveyed said they had a water butt, but only 1 in 10 make good use of the water it collected, while the rest allowed the overflow to go down the drain.

Work Your Butt is a fun, cheeky awareness campaign being launched this spring by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). WWT is calling on the nation's garden owners to use their water butts to wash the car, water the plants or even top up their pond, and is highlighting the benefits that less reliance on mains water has on the environment and their pockets.

Butts come in all shapes and sizes (water butts that is), so there's something to suit everybody's needs. WWT is launching the Work Your Butt awareness campaign on 21st March, during its month-long Festival of Gardening and to coincide with the start of Climate Week.

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Did you know?

  • On hot summer days, over 70% of the nation's water supply may be used for watering gardens. More...
  • Rainwater collected in a water butt is much better for both ponds and gardens than tapwater, so this could be the time to get your butt to the garden centre and grab yourself one. Your roof collects enough rainwater to fill 450 water butts every year, so investing in a good butt now will save you money. More...
  • Of the respondents to WWT's Wetlands In My Back Yard survey, only about 1 in 10 people collect rain from all their roof surface.
  • In a big storm, the rapid movement of water off hard surfaces into the drainage system is a major factor in flooding. Drains fail to cope with the volume of water and overflow, flooding property and threatening lives. Two 250-litre or four 125-litre water butts store enough water to cope with the first 1 cm of rainfall off a 50-square-metre roof, equivalent to a moderate summer rainstorm.
  • If every household in the UK got a standard water butt (and worked it!) this would save about 30,000 million litres of water each summer — that's enough to fill 12,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. More...
  • In the UK, the proportion of treated mains drinking water used for gardening can approach 50% during the driest months. More...

As part of the campaign, WWT are offering hundreds of pounds' worth of gardening vouchers in a competition looking for:

  • The 'Best-worked butt' in the UK, which will be judged on a photo (or video) and no more than 50 words;
  • The 'I want a great butt' category, judged on pledges from those inspired to install one.

The competition will open on 21st March and close on 30th June, with prizes of £250 gardening vouchers in each of the two categories. Entrants should email workyourbutt@wwt.org.uk with their name, address and contact telephone number, then complete in 50 words or less, either the sentence "I work my butt well by..." or "If I had one, I would work my butt by..." Entrants should also send supporting photos (of no more than 1MB) showing them and their water butt (or the water collected in it) in action. Alternatively, entrants can enter by uploading a video of them and their water butt in action, and sending the link to WWT.

Visit www.wwt.org.uk/gardening for full details of WWT's 'Work Your Butt' campaign and the competition. You can also find more useful advice about how to work your butt to the best of its ability.

Written by: WWT