Town rain garden to open after three years

Rain garden SUS-160507-134925001
Rain garden SUS-160507-134925001

Littlehampton Civic Society has nearly reached completion on the creation of a rain garden for the town.

The society has been working with the RSPB’s ‘Arun and Rother Connections’ project for three years, which is supported by West Sussex County Council, Littlehampton Town Council, and lottery funding.

The garden, located in Maltravers Road, was dug and soiled last week by contractors, and finishing touches are being put into place tomorrow by volunteers, including from the Littlehampton Academy.

The garden will then be officially opened next Saturday (July 16) by the mayor, councillor Ian Buckland.

Councillor Buckland said: “Rain gardens offer the opportunity for people to work with nature and participate in the way we manage water in our towns and cities, and to create better places to live and work.”

Rain gardens are small-scale features that capture rainwater run-off from buildings, pavements and other hard surfaces, and which then store, clean, and slowly release water back into the soil or drainage system, helping gardens and towns to deal with heavy rainfall effectively.

A spokesperson for the Littlehampton Civic Society said: “We’re really excited to see the rain garden come to life in such a prominent location opposite the Civic Centre where so many people will be able to appreciate it.

“We hope that it will alleviate the issue of standing water on the adjacent highway.”

Littlehampton Town Council parks department has also offered to help water the garden during the summer months until the garden is established.

Community members from the society will also be volunteering to ensure the well being of the rain garden.

The society spokesman said, it is hoped that this project will inspire other communities to develop similar projects to manage water and enhance the public realm in their own villages and towns.

Rain gardens were first developed in the United States in the 1990s, where they have become increasingly popular.

In the UK, the mimicking of natural drainage in urban areas is officially encouraged and known as Sustainable Drainage Systems.

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