The owners of a Lake District holiday park say they are proving flower power can keep Cumbria's rivers clean.

Skelwith Fold caravan park, in Ambleside, is now treating up to 40,000 litres of waste water every day using specially cultivated beds of sweet-scented iris plants.

Park director Henry Wild say the flowers do the job of an industrial sewage treatment plant – but use natural processes in place of chemicals to make the water safe.

He is offering to share his experience with other holiday park owners who want to discover an eco-friendly way of tackling an age-old waste water problem.

"With sometimes almost two thousand people on the park each night, we are obviously asking a lot of our iris plants, but they rise wonderfully to the challenge," he said.

"They transfer oxygen down to their roots, and this encourages the microbes which clean the water and make it perfectly safe – and even beneficial – to release into the soil.

"We have experimented with other water cleansing plants, and reeds also work well – but irises seem to have the edge when it comes to reducing ammonia, so we now use a combination of the two.

"The iris is a wetland plant, so they love the conditions and also produce a floral display which adds a fantastic splash of colour to the forest glade where the bed grows.

"Our tests on the treated water show this to be the case, and the thriving plants tell their own story about the healthiness of the ecosystem we've created."

He says the iris plants also have a role to play by providing foraging for honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Henry is keen to share his experience with other holiday parks, many of which – like Skelwith Fold – are located in more remote rural areas and deal with wastewater on site.

The park is a long-time holder of the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level, thanks to various different environmental initiatives it carries out on site.