A series of five rain gardens have opened on Alma Road in Enfield. To celebrate, we’ve linked up with the local community and Enfield Council to design a mural which visually helps to explain how they work to improve the health of our rivers.
Rain gardens are a simple yet effective way to help reduce flood risk in urban areas. Rainwater can make its way to the river in a more natural way as water is directed into planted depressions instead of pooling at drains which places increasing pressure on our drainage systems.
Planted with hardy, yet often colourful vegetation that can withstand temporary flooding, rain gardens are well designed for heavy rainfall. They can hold water for extended periods before slowly releasing it to the river.
Rain gardens also help to improve water quality by filtering pollutants, such as oil and petrol, from water running off the road before it enters the local river. Before these rain gardens were installed, polluted water from Alma Road was entering the River Lea through the drainage network.
Elena Von Benzon, Sustainable Drainage Coordinator at Thames21 said: “The Alma Road Rain Gardens in Enfield act as a great example of what can be achieved across London and other cities and towns to alleviate localized flooding. These pocket schemes can have a big impact on local aesthetics and biodiversity, as well as achieving their key objectives of reducing flood risk and improving water quality.”
The mural created to tell the story of these rain gardens was designed and painted by artist Jo Peel with the help pupils from Alma Road Primary School and local residents. The mural can now be viewed at Alma Road, Enfield.