We now have a way of reclaiming some of the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) that would otherwise be flushed down the toilet. Our state-of-the-art NPK collection point allows site users to retrieve and then donate their own NPK, applying it directly where it's most needed and keeping our plants healthy. We focus on the larger shrubs and trees in the showcase bed, mother bed, edible hedge, as well as ensuring any potted trees get their fair share. This, along with our regular top mulches of leaf mould, ensure that our longer-term plants get all the nutrients they need.
We also have an amazing rainwater harvester which was built with the help of the teenagers from the Challenge. This is a large sheet suspended from a pole lodged between two trees. The water is fed into a row of water butts. To prevent the sheet turning into a sail, it's staked down with flexible ties - old bike tyres. This allows that necessary movement. To help channel water into the butts, bricks are suspended from the sheeting and into the centre of each butt. To prevent squirrels sliding down the sheet and drowning in the butts, we have netting across the top of each butt. I think we can say we've thought this one through! It did take us over a year to reach the final design.
In summer 2014 we built a pond with the help of some year 7 children from Skinners Academy and many volunteers. Here's a write up of the pond launch.
Back in the main building behind the large greenhouses, there are tea making facilities, a microwave and old-fashioned flushing toilets. This is where we cook our PACT meals. The large greenhouse is wheelchair accessible, but parts of the site we mostly use are only wheelchair accessible in dry weather. We do our training in the large metal classroom facing the entrance gate.
Here's a map of 'our' bit of the site.