Action for the River Kennet: Rainscapes
Project completed November 2017.
ARK have delivered five objectives through this innovative project:
- Improve storm water infiltration
- Reduce sediment and pollutant runoff to the River Kennet
- Improve water efficiency
- Raise the profile of ‘slowing the flow’ and SuDS
- Foster community engagement
Preshute Primary School in Wiltshire is now an exemplar site showing a range of SuDS. ARK has led community volunteering days engaging parents, children, and governors from the school, ARK regular volunteers, NatWest employees and the village residents association to help deliver a rain garden and rain wall. They have worked alongside contractors and RHS Gold Medal award winner Wendy Allen to install new eye catching blue downpipes that lead to rain planters, rain chains and a water butt. Extensive planting within the grounds of species able to tolerate different conditions, included a green roof welly store and a raised wildflower area all demonstrate the exciting ways that Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can be part of the solution to slowing down storm-water within the environment particularly where inpervious areas dominate.
In September 2017 the school was awarded ‘Thriving’ by Britain in Bloom for the Rainscape project and it is hoped it will achieve ‘Outstanding’ in 2018 now that it is complete.
Rain garden talks to five organisations have been an opportunity to raise the profile of the importance of water in our environment and to share knowledge of the ways to create attractive features for water runoff whether roofs, drives, gardens or playgrounds.
Charlotte Hitchmough ARK Director – “TRT’s Thames Restoration Fund has been a catalyst for the creation of more rain gardens throughout the catchment.”