HTA warns ban on hosepipes may deter gardeners

The HTA is calling on the Environment Agency to make United Utilities look at alternatives to a hosepipe ban in north-west England.

The HTA said a collaborative approach and the recent Flood & Water Management Bill will offset the need for restriction.

HTA business development director Tim Briercliffe said: "Hosepipe bans deter people from planting and gardening and have a savage effect on growers and retailers of plants, many of which are small businesses."

The HTA has called again for a transparent code of practice on the issue. HTA have proposed a code and calls on United Utilities to follow it and take the lead.

United Utilities has applied a drought permit, which could lead to a hosepipe ban, after the lowest rainfall in the region since 1929. Water regulation and strategy manager John Sanders said: "At the start of December, our reservoirs were 96 per cent full, but because of the low rainfall since then they are well down for the time of year."

He added: "We have taken early action to move water around the region to even out supplies and we are also bringing ground water reserves into use."

Ribblesdale Nurseries owner Phil Dunnet warned: "The worst case scenario is that it will put us out of business."

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