A rain garden sounds like an attraction in a water park but London Wildlife Trust is using them to combat flooding in south west London.
On March 28 the trust got their hands dirty in Deen City Farm, Wimbledon, to build a rain garden with the plan to raise awareness of water wastage in London as part of the New Rain Garden Project.
A rain garden, in its simplest form, is a shallow depression with absorbent, yet free draining soil and planted with vegetation that can withstand occasional temporary flooding.
Joanna Ecclestone from London Wildlife Trust said the year-long project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to create rain gardens along the River Wandle would hopefully inspire other Londoners all over the city
She said: “As climate change comes it’s bringing heavier rain, more droughts and more flooding.
“One thing we can do about it is use the rainwater that comes in those heavy storms and keep it out of the drains as its inundating London’s drains.
“Instead we can use it for something good like here!”
Joanna was joined by project manager Nick Golson, London Wildlife Trust worker Helen and volunteers Michael and Amber in the glorious sunshine in Wimbledon with the aim of getting the job done by the end of the day.
She stressed that Londoners were paying for water needlessly when they could be recycling rain water and saving money.
She said: “The message is to use the rainwater as it is free.
“London keeps on getting bigger and people are using more water. We need to look at this sort of thing.
“Individual people can do something. You can do this in your front garden.”
Joanna went on to say she was worried about the future of London’s wildlife due to Londoner’s paving over their front gardens.
She said: “Everyone is paving over their front gardens. We are losing two and a half Hyde Parks every year just from people paving over their front gardens.
“In a city, front gardens are really important for wildlife and it’s a big problem.”
London Wildlife Trust will return to south west London later in the year for an educational project teaching children about water wastage.
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