As part of the ‘Soak it Up’ campaign delivered in partnership with Yorkshire Water and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, schools across the county were given the opportunity to learn about sustainable water use, the urban water cycle, SuDS, and the reality of local flood risk, through a series of fun and engaging workshops. Participating schools were surveyed and simple but effective SuDS were designed and retrofitted into their grounds in order to help reduce the pressure on our drains.
Summary of interventions:
• 300 trees planted (Alder, Guelder Rose, Hazel, Spindleberry, Aspen) to border the school field and create an extra natural boundary as well as reducing the water reaching the ground significantly once mature.
• Existing school pond was reprofiled to add extra holding capacity and planted with native marginal wildflowers.
• Swale/Soakaway created along the bottom border of the school field which is on a significant slope. The swale was dug by hand and filled with limestone gravel to provide holding capacity below the surface. A berm was created using the excavated earth and was planted up with native wildflower species.
• A rain garden planter was constructed at the very front of the school so that the downpipe could be diverted; preventing rainwater entering the system as quickly. The planter was lined and filled with limestone, sand and soil layers to slow down the flow of water and help improve water quality. A perforated waste pipe in the bottom of the planter acts as an outlet back into the storm drain.
• Existing flowerbeds were cleared and replanted with native wildflowers.
Scout Road Academy, Mytholmroyd
March to July 2018
Scout Road Academy has been heavily affected by localised flooding over the years and have even previously lost the use of their school building as a result. As part of the project, the school site was assessed for opportunities where water could be intercepted or the flow of water slowed. A consultation was opened with the school staff so that all potential locations were considered.
Many of the schools downpipes and impermeable surfaces around the school building itself weren’t able to be intercepted due to space constraints, so the main focus for the interventions was the adjacent school field.
A community day was organised at the school where volunteers from Yorkshire Water and the wider partnership contributed their time to retrofit the SuDS. This took place over one day and all tools and materials were provided for the volunteers.
• School staff worked closely with project staff to effectively coordinate delivery of materials straight to site.
• Lots of volunteer effort from across the partnership meant that work was completed quickly and to a high standard. • Craig Whittaker M.P. visited the site during the community day and was shown around by students from the school.
• Parents of students were eager to take on responsibility of upkeep of the interventions.
• Restricted space around school building itself – most downpipes could not be disconnected without interfering with the recreational space for the students
• The time of year wasn’t ideal for planting trees (July) and cell grown trees were chosen instead of bare root. Unfortunately the long hot spell over the summer coincided with the community day and made it particularly difficult to dig the dry earth.
Who? Designed and project managed by Yorkshire Water in partnership with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. All interventions installed by volunteers in one day.
Project funded by Yorkshire Water and delivered in partnership with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
All physical efforts and volunteer time was donated to the project.
Approximate material costs (exc. VAT):
Plug/pot plants = £270
WoodBlocX (Ltd) planter = £200
Aggregate = £160
Trees (cell grown) + guards and canes = £670
Skip hire = £115
Piping = £40