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Isabella Plantation wins coveted ‘Loo of the Year’ award for waterless toilets.

Richmond Park beat off stiff competition at the annual ‘Loo of the Year Awards’ to be crowned the winner of the UK’s best eco friendly toilet.

The awards are the national standard for ‘Away from Home’ toilets and all entries are given either a bronze, silver, gold or platinum following an unannounced visit by an inspector. The toilets in the Isabella Plantation received platinum and the accolade of Britain’s most environmentally friendly loo.

New low carbon toilets were installed in the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park in 2014 as part of a lottery funded, multi-million pound project to improve the 40-acre woodland garden.

Jo Scrivener, Assistant Park Manager for Richmond Park said: “These are not your bog standard toilets – they are the perfect combination of low maintenance, low cost and low carbon.”

The five waterless toilets, which receive in excess of 400,000 visits a year, include facilities for disabled people and for baby changing, and are odourless and non-flush, with waste collected in 1000 gallon tanks.

The reduction in the amount of water flowing into these tanks from taps and flushing reduces the volume of waste and the frequency of tank emptying, making this system a low cost and low carbon alternative to conventional cesspit tanked toilet systems. Sanitiser gel is provided as an alternative to taps.

The building which houses the toilets in the plantation is clad in sustainably sourced green oak and heating is provided by a biomass boiler fuelled by logs harvested from the park.

Jo added: “As the park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, we couldn’t just dig up the park and connect the toilets to mains sewage, so waterless toilets were the ideal solution.”

Mike Bone from the Loo of the Year Awards said: “The Richmond Park Isabella Plantation toilets were designed and built as extremely eco-friendly toilets minimising waste, use of water, use of electricity and maximising the use of natural materials in construction.

“The judges were unanimous in awarding these toilets the best in category for England, as well as the UK and Ireland.”

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