‘Attractive’ rain garden now open to stop road flooding

The rain garden is now open for business
The rain garden is now open for business

Littlehampton’s latest innovative feature is now open to the public in the form of an ‘attractive’ rain garden.

Volunteers from the town have turned two bare grass verges into a garden over the last year, and the garden was officially opened on July 16.

The garden in Maltravers Road has been installed to soak up surface water during heavy rainfall, as the road has previously suffered with large puddles spreading across the road and collecting outside the nearby Civic Centre, near the Beach Road roundabout.

It captures rainwater runoff from buildings, where the water is then stored, cleaned and released back into the drainage system, and currently consists of ferns, English Ivy, Dogweed, Snowball and other flowering plants.

Littlehampton Civic Society secretary Angela tester said: “We thought this rain garden was a great idea. Rain gardens can collect the rain from the roots and the many down pipes that feed into the pavements.

“So many people concrete over their front gardens these days, it causes problems with surface water. Littlehampton also has a Victorian drainage system underground which makes life difficult. This rain garden will act as a holding pond for water in Maltravers Road.”

Volunteers from Littlehampton Civic Centre, the Arc Project and West Downs Neighbourhood Force joined pupils at Littlehampton Academy and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to plant the garden on July 7.

The rain garden will be maintained by volunteers from Littlehampton Civic Society and watered by Littlehampton Town Council’s parks department.

Angela added: “Rain gardens reduce the risk of flooding, are low maintenance, and they create a bit of flower and colour as well. We hope they will be a bit of wildlife haven for insects, bugs and birds.”

Rain gardens come in many shapes and sizes, and can be planted in front or back gardens to help reduce the threat of flooding to properties.

Anyone interested in creating a similar rain garden for their community are welcome to apply to West Sussex County Council’s Operation Watershed Fund for help.

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