Natural flood management is child’s play

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Inspecting a rainscape - staff and children at Wivelsfield Primary School were joined by councillors and officers from Lewes District Council and Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust

Councillors from Lewes District Council visited Wivesfield Primary Schood to see how the children have been helping to make the district more resilient to climate change and helping to reduce the risk of flooding further downstream in the catchment.

The children have been working alongside the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust to build rainscapes and install rain planters on the school grounds. 

Rainscapes store water and slow its flow during periods of heavy rainfall, while a rain planter receives water from the drainpipes and absorbs into the soil, storing it for the benefit of plants.

The project has been completed with funding and support from Lewes District Council, as part of the authority’s natural flood management works.

Councillor Matthew Bird said: “It is terrific to see how engaged the young people are in the project and the important contribution they are making in tackling the impacts of climate change.”

This is part of a wider partnership approach working with Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust and Sussex Flow Initiative, landowners and others that the council has been supporting to promote natural flood management approaches on the River Ouse. This work reduces the risk of flooding, increases biodiversity, assists in improving water quality and helps make our district more climate resilient.  

Helen Smith, Headteacher at Wivelsfield Primary School, said: "This initiative offers a great opportunity to further enhance our grounds as an outdoor classroom, along with enabling hands on learning experiences to teach children about how climate change and water from developments cause flooding and how we can reduce this.”