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Firestone's GeoGard™ EPDM is the Pick of the Crop for Hugh Lowe Farms

Firestone Building Products’ GeoGard™ EPDM lining system has been used to refurbish a 2,700m2 irrigation lagoon for Kent-based soft fruit grower, Hugh Lowe Farms. A 120-year old family-owned company, Hugh Lowe Farms is one of the largest independent berry growers in the UK, with 700ha of mixed soft fruit/arable fields cultivating strawberries and raspberries. The company has invested significantly in making its farms as self-sufficient as possible in terms of water for irrigation by collecting run-off and rainwater into a number of tunnels and reservoirs to irrigate its crops. One of these reservoirs was operating at just 50 per cent capacity due to issues with the existing lining, which was leaking and causing stored water to be lost into the ground. Hugh Lowe Farms turned to pond specialist, Fairwater Ltd, to refurbish the water storage lagoon, using Firestone’s GeoGard™ EPDM lining for its ease and speed of installation, extended service life, puncture resistance and U/V resistance. Comments Lance Mansell from Hugh Lowe Farms: “Depending on the weather and the time of year, our water storage facilities play a vital role in ensuring we irrigate for maximum yields without having to take water from the mains. This helps us deliver our commitment to environmental best practice and keep our water bills down. “Firestone’s GeoGard™ EPDM lining system is offered with a 20 year guarantee but has been used in similar applications in much hotter climates, where it is still in service, with no leaks, more than 40 years later. That means that we can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that our investment in this irrigation lagoon will last for generations and enable us to maintain high yields of superior quality berries, even if predictions of hotter, longer summers come true.” The Fairwater team remodelled the irrigation lagoon by excavating by 1m to increase the depth, enabling the height of the retaining walls to be reduced. The surface of the lagoon bed was then smoothed and compacted and drainage was added to prepare the area. A 250g/m2 geotextile was then laid followed by the 1.1mm GeoGard™ EPDM membrane, which was laid in six 15m panels, supplied by Firestone’s Authorised Distributor, Gordon Low Products Ltd. Martin Kelly from Fairwater adds: “We have been using Firestone’s GeoGard™ EPDM membrane as our preferred liner for some time, because it is fast and easy to install, offers an excellent service life with proven U/V resistance and contains no plasticisers. “This project will ensure that Hugh Lowe Farms can continue to support the company’s self-sufficiency strategy for water, benefitting their glass-house and poly-tunnel grown crops all year round.”