A local community garden in Chacewater, which serves a population of around 2,500 individuals by growing fresh produce, has doubled its rainwater harvesting capabilities thanks to support from South West Water. 

Harvesting rainwater is helping volunteers grow fresh produce for a small community near Truro.  

Chacewater Community Garden has been run since 2020 by a small group of volunteers who grow a wide range of seasonal fruit, herbs and vegetables as well as cut flowers and decorative planting for the benefit of their community. 

The gardeners are passionate about becoming more self-sufficent, and to this end have more than doubled the amount of rainwater harvested by installing four 1,000-litre storage tanks, linking them into their existing system and purchasing a new pump to move supplies around with ease. 

The initiative was supported by South West Water’s Water-Saving Community Fund, on the grounds that it will reduce the need to use mains water during hotter and drier summer months. 

The garden is also used by village schoolchildren to learn about gardening and food production, including hands-on growing. 

Paul Shevlin, secretary of Chacewater Projects, said: “Thanks to South West Water’s Water-Saving Community Fund, we are now able to catch and store enough rainwater to help us get through those hot and dry summer months.  

“Because we no longer need to use mains water, we can instead invest more in educational activities and planting more fruit and veg for the community.” 

Laura Flowerdew, chief customer and digital officer at South West Water said: “Proudly maintained and cared for by such a dedicated group of volunteers, the Chacewater Community Garden is set to flourish this summer thanks to their efforts and innovation.” 

Since launching in 2021, South West Water’s Water-Saving Community Fund was launched in 2021 to support local not-for-profit organisations and community groups with projects that benefit the community, help to conserve water and work to reduce water waste.