A new ecological toilet facility installed at the Love Lane community garden was declared open last Thursday June 13.
On behalf of the garden committee, Dominic Manning invited Tracy Martin to unveil the plaque watched by Rye Mayor, Cllr Michael Boyd, invited guests and helpers. “Tracy has a professional background in landscaping and enthusiasm for gardening as well as being a wheelchair user, so is an ideal local person to do the honours for us”, he said.
The new facility will do much to encourage greater public access and enjoyment of the garden. Dominic explained that without mains water or electricity, a toilet was needed that works without conventional flushing. This toilet, originally developed in Australia, does not require any chemical products or additives. The sealed underground chamber contains no internal moving parts. It uses the sun’s energy to heat the system and the wind to turn an extractor, creating a flow of air inside the unit to dehydrate and evaporate the contents.
The cabin is large enough for a wheelchair to manoeuvre inside and has a solar powered light. The toilet cost £10,000 to buy and install. Generous funding was received from the National Lottery Community Fund and the Rye Community Shop. The accessible path was mainly funded by SLM Toyota Hastings plus a contribution from the Allotments Association, and Rye Amenity CIC funded the new gate. “We are hugely grateful for all your support,” declared Dominic.
Irna Mortlock, director of Encompass Care, told your reporter afterwards that Tracy Martin trained in London at horticultural college. She came to Rye for her uncle’s wedding, and met Philip whose cousin was the bride. It was a very romantic story: Tracy moved to Peasmarsh and worked as a landscape gardener for Hastings Borough Council; she and Phil had two sons during which time she was first diagnosed with MS.
Phil has been her sole and devoted carer for the past 30 years. In the early days they enjoyed skiing holidays and explored much of Europe.
She is a member of the Encompass Care group that meets at Tilling Green Community Centre for social activities. Encompass Care has just celebrated its first birthday and is now offering holistic therapies, arts and crafts and music. Thanks to generous funding, their green bus, christened the Green Goddess, by Tracy Martin, will be able to take the members out to enjoy all the local amenities, including a pub lunch which is on their list!
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird.