A simple and cheap idea to reduce water getting into our rivers.

Since we set up Slow The Flow Calderdale last year and being involved in Natural Flood Management (NFM) in the Calder Valley, and as someone who is new to the issue of flood prevention, I was keen to put into practise some of what I have learnt over the last 18 months at my own house.

We live in Luddendenfoot in a terraced house with 2 gardens at the front and one at the rear. As well as the usual flower beds and lawn, our larger garden at the front of our house accommodated space for 2/3 cars so I was keen to adopt some simple principles around Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) to reduce the amount of rain water entering the drains around my house and ultimately into the river Calder Calder.

As you will see from the pictures below, the concrete flags were fairly unsightly and did nothing for the aesthetics of our front garden. Also when it rained, the rain water simply ended up pooling and making its way into the drains.

So I decided to pull up the flags, put down some compost, topsoil and grass seed and create a small lawn. The rain water now goes down into the soil ensuring that this little bit of garden does not contribute to the rising flood waters in the event of heavy rain.

It cost around £60 to do all this and alongside the planters I made from pallets, I have made a small and simple contribution to Sustainable Drainage in the valley. This tiny scheme is not going to stop the Valley flooding, but if every household made a few changes to our own gardens, then we can make a difference to our environment and help prevent flooding in the areas in which we all live and work.

To find out how you can make a small difference in your own backyard, visit our ‘You Can Slow The Flow’  pages

Adrian Horton – Communications Officer at Slow The Flow Calderdale