Nicholls Countryside Construction

South East framing review

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Courtesy of Nicholls Countryside Construction

Drilling a borehole on a farm can cost less than a conventional water supply and cut the carbon footprint from pumping and treating mains water.

'There is an environmental as well as a cost argument for drilling a borehole,' said Ben Nicholls, joint managing director with his brother Richard of Nicholls Boreholes, which is based in West Sussex.

Nicholls Boreholes is in an office on an organic beef farm run by Ben and Richard's father, and a borehole is used there to supply the cattle with drinking water. 'Farms probably account for about ten per cent of our business,' said Mr Nicholls, who was speaking as farmersand others joined DEFRA secretary of state Caroline Spelman for an emergency water summit. 'We have been having more inquiries as concerns about a lack of water in the South East have grown.'

Private landowners who .may have a farmer's livestock grazing on their fields account for more of the business, but the largest chunk is installing ground source heat pumps. Customers for boreholes have ranged from Great Dixter – the garden at Northiam, East Sussex made famous by Christopher Lloyd - to a large commercial laundry with an annual water bill of about £90,000.

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