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poppies, grasses, and orange flowers attract bees in one of two new rain gardens on Rosendale estate

Rain gardens rule!

Why make rain gardens?

Rain gardens are designed for rainwater to soak into the ground to water plants instead of cascading off rooftops into the nearest drain. This helps to reduce flood risk by taking pressure away from London’s Victorian sewers in heavy weather – as we’ve seen in the centre of Herne Hill just over 10 years ago.

London Wildlife Trust and Lambeth Council’s Flood Team have created rain gardens on the route of the lost River Effra – areas at risk of flooding.

Lambeth’s latest rain garden

At Heron Court residents joined a community planting day in May – “So much energy! They were gardening all day”.

Two months later, residents celebrated their new garden in full bloom. TRA chair Patrick’s home-made cakes starred raspberries, redcurrants and poppy seeds grown by residents on the estate’s Rosendale allotments.

“You can create a rain garden at home,” said Helen Spring from London Wildlife Trust. “Divert the overflow from a shed or leave a water barrel to overflow. You need a selection of plants that can stand both wet and dry. It’s brilliant that residents are creating this kind of garden oasis for people and wildlife when an area equal to two-and-a-half Hyde Parks gets concreted over in London every year.

Check out Wild London website for more information.

More rain gardens in Lambeth

London Wildlife have:

  • Worked with residents from Cressingham Gardens to create a beautiful 30 metre long garden
  • Removed tarmac to create a 330 square metre community garden behind 1-7 Southwell Road with a green roof on the garage, rainwater harvesting and green borders around the whole building
  • ‘Depaved’ around Oborne Close to create colourful, wildlife-rich gardens for residents’ enjoyment
  • Swapped concrete paving slabs for wildlife-friendly planting to give Calidore Close a front garden

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