The HTA and APL together with representatives from BALI and the Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA), will be meeting again with water companies next week to discuss ways that the sector can address the impacts of the temporary use (hosepipe) bans that come into effect tomorrow (05 April) in seven water company areas in the East and south east of England.
While industry lobbying has secured concessions for drip feed irrigation systems and other help for domestic gardeners, efforts to persuade the water companies to allow exemptions for businesses in the landscaping and turfgrass sectors have proved less successful. Despite strong representations from the trade associations and support from the Society of Garden Designers (SGD), the Landscape Institute (LI) and the RHS, only one of the water companies involved (Sutton and East Surrey) has agreed a limited exemption for new-laid turf and none have yet been persuaded to allow the watering-in of hedging or other plants.
“We do not believe that the water companies have yet accepted the severity of the problems that temporary use bans will bring for the landscape sector this spring” said HTA Business Development Director Tim Briercliffe. “We are already hearing reports of contracts that have been cancelled or delayed as a result of the bans and we fear that we will see business failures and job losses without further help from the water companies in managing this situation”.
Next week’s meeting is seen as an important opportunity to underline the threat to landscaping and turfgrass professionals who are seeking similar treatment to operators of car washes and other commercial enterprises that rely on water to maintain their service to customers. The meeting follows discussions between the HTA and TGA and the water companies earlier this week.