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  • Jonathan Hitchman

Great Bedwyn rain gardens project

This is your chance to be part of the first community project of its kind in the UK.

Other schemes have built rain gardens in community spaces such as schools, but this project aims to support the whole village by including private homes. It will help increase Great Bedwyn's flood protection whilst also improving drought resilience. With funding from Thames Water and expert leadership from ARK (Action for the River Kennet) this is your moment to enhance your garden and help protect your village.

What is a rain garden?

Put simply, it is a shallow area of ground which receives run-off from roofs and other hard surfaces. It contains plants that can withstand temporary water-logging with more drought-tolerant plants around the edges. In times of storm it can absorb up to 30% more water than a lawn.

If space is limited, then rainwater planters or slow release water butts can also be part of the solution.

Why does it matter?

Well Great Bedwyn has a history of flooding. Over the past 20 years we've seen storm events inundate the area around the doctor's surgery, the village hall and the railway station. Many private households have been hit by a combination of stormwater and sewage entering their homes.

Did you know that our sewage treatment work has been overwhelmed 128 times in the last three years?

That's 926 hours of sewage dumped into the canal and on into the River Dun. We can all help stop this from happening by catching the rainwater that falls on our roofs and stopping or slowing down its entry into the sewers.

Don't worry if you're not a gardener or drainage engineer, there is expert advice and financial support for all those participating in the project. There is still time to get involved, please contact to find out more and access the online training videos.

Jonathan Hitchman (Great Bedwyn Flood Group)


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