The water business started in around 1992 but the water was bottled from a different source which was bought ‘by accident’ at auction. The family bought a holiday cottage and discovered a water source beneath . “The supply was very substantial. Michael Eavis, who ran the Glastonbury Festival, didn't have a sufficient water supply and so my father bottled water for the Festival because they needed more for the fans. Glastonbury Spring Water was born,” explains David Tucker. “We did that for a few years, producing small packs (bottles) of water. My father purchased a small company in Taunton producing water for small packs and coolers and realised that the cooler sector was a good business to be in. We caught the growth of the sector in 1996-1997 and joined the BWCA fairly soon”. The company was initially based at an industrial estate in Glastonbury, tankering spring water because they had ‘grandfather rights’ (legislation does not permit tankering except under special circumstances).
Tankering was inefficient & costly, but more importantly did not fit well with the companies environmental aspirations. In 2006 Park Corner Farm became available by auction, a former County Council estate located on 120 acres of farmland adjacent to that of the National Trust. After successfully acquiring Park Corner Farm at auction the work began. When taking on the build the environment & climate change heavily influenced the way the company carried out their design. They developed a run down council farm into a state of the art production facility with every aspect of the design encompassing recyclable or renewable materials wherever possible.
All bricks in the build were reclaimed from the previous farm buildings. Sheep's wool was used as insulation for the roof. Under floor heating installed with a ground source heat pump to warm the offices & production areas. Solar panels were introduced to heat hot water in the production areas and a reed bed sewerage waste system completed the installation. All plastics, bottles, cardboard & wrapping are recycled locally & the water runs directly into the bottling plant from source without the need for transport.
Airy offices boast the original beams from the old cowshed and are around 100 years old. The company’s building was recognised through the CLA Rural Buildings Award and The Royal Bath & West Innovative Building Award.
The Tucker family is justly proud of the site they manage. They have a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme designation from Natural England for the farm, still very much active, and the land. Natural England initiative is partly based on the fact that the Tuckers avoid use of nitrate fertilisers. The site was designated a Local Wildlife Site in 2002 following a visit by the Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC). Even in those early days, three of the fields were judged to meet the Local Wildlife Site (LWS) criteria and official reporting shows that the conservation quality has continued to improve since first survey results reflecting “the ongoing sympathetic management”. The latest report3 records over 110 wildflowers, grasses, ferns, shrubs and trees present including wild scabious, wild geranium and two species of orchid: a few Twayblade (Neottia ovata) and a single Southern Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa). They also have Pipistrelle bats. The family farm sheep and Hereford cows, but with no nitrates being used the land is completely clean of unwanted chemicals. The borehole is fenced off securely to prevent animals straying nearby.