Anyone living in Berkshire will be at least a little familiar with the chalk downs that characterise so much of the landscape in the county and its neighbours, such as Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. This has both pros and cons for residents.
On the plus side, much of this land is in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a landscape whose management board is consulting with Natural England over the possibility of National Park Status. It is a beautiful landscape that may just be set to get the highest accolade sometime in the years ahead.
Indeed, it may also be noted that a survey by Which? has found that Coombe Hill in Buckinghamshire has just been listed as one of the 51 most popular walks in Britain. To live in this part of the world is to be close to some glorious landscapes.
The flip side, however, is that the chalk itself gets into the groundwater that people in Berkshire and across the south east of England rely on. With all the calcium it contains this leads to hard water, with all the problems that can bring from dry skin and hair to faded clothes and limescale in everything from bathroom appliances to your kettle.
This is why using water softeners in Berkshire is the way forward. For many people, softer water tastes nicer and it is certainly more pleasant to filter and soften it before it goes in the kettle.
Indeed, anyone visiting parts of the UK with soft water, as they have in the north, will soon feel and taste the difference, while anyone using water-bearing appliances there will have no problem with scale building up. The phrase “grim up north” certainly doesn’t apply to its water.
There are many advantages to living in different parts of the country. Those residing in the Chilterns can enjoy both the local scenery and the proximity to London. But with softened water, you can also enjoy a benefit that is normally reserved for people living further north.