Winter flowers will linger on towards the summer under a new planting schedule agreed to help Swaffham cope with the hosepipe ban.

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The town council has agreed to retain its winter flowers for at least two months longer than usual, and then plant out petunias and geraniums, which are bedding plants that need less water, as well as some shrubs, grasses and wildflowers.

The council had asked for permission to extract water from Northwell Pool to use on Swaffham’s floral displays, but although the Environment Agency said no licence was needed, Anglia Water refused permission because there would be some use of a hosepipe.

Charles Gunner of Swaffham in Bloom said the hosepipe ban had cut the number of entries for Anglia in Bloom this year, improving the town’s chances of doing well in the competition.

Town clerk Richard Bishop has held initial discussions with the Iceni Partnership to investigate longer term solutions.

They are looking at submitting a joint funding bid for water retention tanks at the Tumbler Hill allotments and at the town hall, community centre and assembly rooms.

The tanks would be buried underground, and the water collected would be used for watering.

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