Meet the Peterborough project turning fly-tipped bathtubs into garden planters

Dave Poulton with a garden planterDave Poulton with a garden planter
Dave Poulton with a garden planter

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Fly-tipping is one of the biggest blights in Peterborough, but one not-for-profit group is seeking to turn a negative into a positive.

Orton Brimbles based social enterprise Up The Garden Bath is turning heads by converting dumped and unwanted bathtubs into ready made garden planters.

Formed back in May, the project is already turning heads with Peterborough City Council, Aragon Direct Services - which runs waste removal services in Peterborough - and Mick George agreeing to support it by giving access to unwanted baths and wood from their recycling centres.

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Dave Poulton started Up The Garden Bath in May alongside his fiancée Kerry Hayes-Palmer after finding it hard to get back into employment after a number of years of ill health.

He said: “We came up with the idea a number of years ago when we converted a neighbour’s old unwanted bath into a herb garden.

People always commented on how unique the idea is and we decided to turn it into an educational learning aid for schools.

“We felt a project that offered a solution to the uprising of fly-tipping and the disposal of plastics would help the environment. Bathtubs are a nightmare to recycle and have to be broken into pieces and then incinerated. We turn them into a reusable item that offers a raised and contained growing area. “

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Dave described the response from the public so far as “amazing”.

He said: “Our ultimate goal is to formulate an educational lesson plan for schools that will allow us to go into pre-schools and primary schools to teach the students about nature, self-sufficiency, eating healthy and the importance of recycling.

“The project has really taken off quickly and we are already dealing with enquiries from local councils in Teesside, Stoke, Portsmouth and Bedfordshire. These councils are very keen to get onboard and run the same scheme (under our company name) in their respective geographical areas.

“We recently agreed to donate one of our ‘Pollen Paradises’ to a new community pocket park project in Peterborough. This was done as part of Channel Four’s Jimmy Doherty Bee Week in conjunction with Red Sky Production, and our ‘Pollen Paradise’ was unveiled on July 18 to celebrate the start of this campaign.

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“We are also due to install another one of our planters into Woodston Primary School in October as part of this continuing project.”

The baths are split into eight equal separate growing spaces measuring 30cm x 30cm to allow for maximum growth.

The planters are currently available to order and are finished in the wood style and colour of the customers’ choice.

Dave added: “As we expand production we will be looking to employ skilled retired and unemployed personnel to help fulfil demand. This will give the chance of employment to a demographic that sometimes has had problems accessing employment.

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“We have just started a reward based crowdfunding campaign to help our non-profit social enterprise move forward.”

The crowdfunding page can be found at

To contact Up The Garden Bath, you can email [email protected] or visit the Facebook page.