The Ventilator

Incorporating The Ranger's Blog

Notes from a Wildlife Garden

A toilet for nature lovers

By Ruth D’Alessandro, The Wildlife Gardener The beginning of April. A dismal, grey, rainy 5-hour journey back home from Yorkshire down the A1 for la famille Wildlife Gardener. After a flask of coffee and many Kit Kat Chunkies, nature dictated we take an inevitable toilet break at the depressing-sounding Brampton Hut BP Connect service station in Huntingdon. Dodging the potholes in the lorry park, we pulled into the forecourt under a glowering big East Anglian sky. We tumbled out of the WGmobile, stretching and groaning,’looking forward’ to a limp overpriced BLT and a paper cup of’Wild Bean‘ coffee that would be neither wild nor had probably seen a bean for days. Nor were we looking forward to the service station unisex toilet experience: the joys of paddling around in truckers’ wee and losing one’s nasal cilia to the sharp combined scents of last night’s phal and industrial Haze. But this little corner of Huntingdon has a secret: possibly the cutest service station toilet in the land. And it’s a nature lover’s toilet to boot. Turn up your volume: Yes. You heard right. Birdsong in a toilet. And big sunny botanical pictures on the walls, the dandelion seeds seemingly blowing gracefully towards the bin:

Toilet dandelion clock

Sadly, no scent of hawthorn blossom blowing on the wind, but you can’t have everything. I mused on whether the birdsong was recorded in a British woodland: I tried to identify the species singing, but could not, which is where you, dear Naturenet readers, come in. Can anyone identify the birds singing? Please tell me they are British, not recorded in New Hampshire. If so, the UK nature experience at Brampton Hut will be complete.

Green hand dryer

And Brampton Hut BP Connect even has its own chummy green credentials. If you look at the writing on the wall above the hand dryer it says:

Can’t find the hand towels? Meet the new hand dryer. It’ll dry your hands completely in 10-15 seconds using 80% less energy than traditional dryers. Still missing the hand towels? Well, now, there’s always your jeans…

Aaaw, bless. I love the thought of bucolic types skipping from breezy wildflower meadows into BP Connect, puzzling over the lack of hand towels before they use that marvellous new-fangled invention, the hand dryer. And all those flowers and tweeting birds will make them feel right at home, cushioned for a short time from the drab tarmac reality of the A1 with its thundering diesel behemoths bearing sofas and Latvian milk. If only all service station toilets could be like Brampton Hut.

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2 thoughts on “A toilet for nature lovers

  • Greetings from the states, once again. What a fabulous environment for a daily necessity. We should see more of these!

  • ghostmoth

    They look so cheery and birdsong rather than tinny muzak is such a good idea! The new ecoloos at Ventnor are good having a sedum roof and flushed by water from the adjacent Cascades.


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