River friendly gardening

Rain Garden UK training

Everyone can make a difference to our rivers just by changing the way they treat rain in their gardens. ARK's Rain Garden UK training courses provide practical and online training for anyone thinking about building a rain garden. We have designed the courses wilth profressional garden designer Wendy Allen.

  • Training is free.
  • Anyone is welcome.
  • No specialist knowledge is needed.

Our training is aimed at ordinary gardeners or people interested in setting up commuity projects.

We offer two training workshops focussing on the practicalities of DIY retrofitting domestic rain gardens and rain planters, starting where the rain runs off an existing roof and ending when it soaks into the ground. Our aim is to inspire and empower individuals and groups to create rain gardens in their own green space. 

More course details are on our Rain Garden UK website


Why come on the course?

As climate changes we are seeing more cloudburst type rainfall, with heavy deluges that overwhelm our drainage network, causing local surface water flooding and sewage spills into our rivers. These rainstorms are often followed by long dry periods, so it's important that we look for ways to slow the flow of stormwater, catch what we need to water our gardens and create space for water to soak into the ground slowly instead of rushing off down drains to either the river or the sewage treatment works. This is known as Sustainable Drainage or SuDS. If you'd like to find out more about the benefits of rain gardens click
here or come on one of our workshops to learn more.

The first and simplest thing to do is install a water butt. The average roof collects enough rainfall to fill 300 water butts with rain every year. Many water companies and councils offer water butts at a discount or even free, so check offers in your area.

To create a rain garden there are a few basic rules to follow, our Rain Garden UK training course will guide you through in simple steps so that you are empowered to build your own with confidence.

Storm water planters

Storm water planters are also known as rain water or downspout planters. They catch water, usually from the roof, slow it down and filter it before releasing it slowly either to the drain or into the ground. You can connect your gutter to the planter via a downpipe or a rain chain. Scroll down and click on the graphic to see how we worked with designer Wendy Allen to create storm water planters out of agricultural troughs.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are depressions in the ground which provide a safe space for water to soak into the ground during and after rainfall.  They can be a beautiful addtion to a garden and are simple to construct and plant. The gardens only stay wet for a few hours, so they are different to bog gardens and need to be planted with plants which can adapt to wet and dry conditions.