Water butts UK: Everything you need to know, according to experts

Due to the fact that we had the driest July on record, on Friday 12th August a hose and sprinkler ban comes into force in many areas of South East England. As a result, if you’re wondering how to care for your much-loved garden foliage, a water scooter may be the answer.

Water shutters are “enlarged water reservoirs that collect rainwater from the roofs of sheds, houses and greenhouses,” explains gardener and name brand owner Sarah Raven and Josie Lewis, head gardener for said company.

This, in turn, makes them good for sustainable water supply. “With climate change, certainly, in the south, we have a problem with water storage and supply, so everyone needs to come together to pay more attention to water use.” Adding Raven and Lewis. As such, water shutters are a great way to take advantage of the wet weather when we finally get some much needed rainfall.

When it comes to choosing the best one for you, Raven and Lewis said, “Big is best—use your own aesthetic, but fit the largest space your space will fit.” If you really want to make use of the devices in light of the hose ban, they noted the option to soak “our bath water – there are pumps and gadgets to do this out the window to a butt below”. A good solution if you are worried about how you will keep your garden looking leafy green.

While we haven’t tested water shutters yet, to help you find one for your garden, we’ve rounded up a variety of sizes and designs so you can keep your outdoor area looking great all year round.


  • Capacity: 210 l
  • Dimensions: H97cm x W57cm

If you’re looking for something functional and affordable, this could be the answer. With a capacity of a whopping 210 liters of water, this water bucket is made of durable plastic, so it should be able to withstand the weather when it eventually turns into torrential rain.

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(Screw fix)

  • Capacity: 100 l
  • Dimensions: H31cm x W30cm

Are you looking for a slim water ass? This model from ScrewFix seems to do the trick. It is supplied with a downpipe and pipe joint to fill the water jet, as well as a tap.

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  • Capacity: 168 l
  • Dimensions: H79cm x D58cm

Luckily this comes with a pre-drilled hole so you can easily hook up to a rain trap diverter so you’ll be on your way to collecting water in no time.

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  • Capacity: 220 l
  • Dimensions: H120cm x W58cm x D58cm

If you’re looking for something more attractive than a plastic unit, Garantia’s water tank looks ideal. This will harvest rainwater from your downspouts, but it will also collect it from the top of the planter cup.

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  • Capacity: 150 l
  • Dimensions: H77cm x W60cm x L60cm

For another fancier water shutter, this beehive design is our firm favorite. Because of the terracotta color, we think it will fit nicely into your garden and complement your plants and pots.

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  • Capacity: 100 l
  • Dimensions: H96cm x W32cm

Wilko’s garden range is not to be missed. This water flask costs just £20, making it an affordable way to collect water and keep your green look lush. You’ll also need to buy this water surge drain kit (£5.25, Wilko.com).

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  • Capacity: 220 l
  • Dimensions: H106cm x W59cm

Calling all sustainable gardeners, this one’s for you. It is made from waste plastic in a factory that is powered by wind turbines. With a capacity of 200 l, it is certainly spacious, and it also has an integrated planter on top.

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Worried about the snake ban? Read our review of the best watering cans

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