Slow it down, soak it up – build a rain garden at home this World Water Day

March 21, 2022

Help combat climate change and support wildlife at home by creating a rain garden.

The 22nd of March is World Water Day. This year the focus is on protecting groundwater, something which is particularly important across The Living Coast.  This is because all of our region’s water supply comes from an underground aquifer (a natural, subterranean reservoir) that is located under the chalk block of The Living Coast.

The Aquifer Partnership have been working to protect the groundwater stored in our aquifer for many years, and for this World Water Day they are launching a major new initiative to create a green network of rain gardens across Brighton and Lewes.

The campaign, whose motto is “Slow it down, soak it up”, is calling on communities, residents, schools and businesses to help create simple, inexpensive rain gardens that deliver many benefits for the environment. Online and in-person training workshops are also being offered over the next three years to help deliver the project.

water splashing as someone walks in the river

A rain garden is a DIY-friendly way to manage rainwater runoff and create a welcoming space for wildlife. The area, either dug into a garden or using a planter, uses specially-selected grasses and plants to slow down surface run-off from hard surfaces and allow water to soak into the ground naturally.

More rain gardens are needed due to increasing pressure on the chalk aquifer, which supplies drinking water to over 1.2m people in Sussex. Climate change and extreme storm events, combined with more impermeable surfaces from development, mean that the aquifer is under increasing threat from pollution, including run-off from roads and vehicles and chemicals used on crops and other open spaces.

Five spaces are available for the first raingarden training workshops in Brighton in early April. People can register their interest by emailing: TAP@southdowns.gov.uk

Find out more about getting involved and creating a rain garden on The Aquifer Partnership’s website

You can also watch a great video on how to make a rain garden from Transition Town Worthing:

By The Living Coast

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