Rain Garden - Preshute Primary

Rainscape Project at Preshute Primary, Manton

In 2017 we raised the funding and delivered an innovative ‘Rainscapes’ project for Preshute Primary School, in the village of Manton.

Outside the front of the school we installed three large galvanized cattle troughs and converted them into storm water planters. These receive water from eye catching bendy blue and transparent downpipes that previously picked up road surface runoff pollution and fed straight into the nearby River Kennet.

The school faces directly onto the village High Street so not only conveys the important message of sustainable water use to the students, it's a visual reminder and a conversation starter at the school gates or for any passers-by.
A large water butt is also connected to a downpipe outside the front of the school, with a sign on explaining the principles behind the project.

The project did not stop with the specially adapted planters, a green roof welly store was built during a corporate volunteering day. Local firm Green Machine spent the day with us learning about their river and the importance of creating places for rain to slowly permeate, rather than rush directly into the rive. The welly store is both functional for the children, a small permeable surface and the plants provides for pollen for insects.

A large raised bed that was bare earth was laid with wildflower turf, creating another green area to capture and hold rain water, as well as developing into a rich habitat for insects and other wildlife and is now an interesting natural space for students to enjoy.

NatWest staff also lent a hand, digging and planting and the school fence received a new coat of paint, to match the blue downpipes!

We worked closely with garden designer Wendy Allen, who designed the project and helped bring the vision to life.
This project was funded by Thames Rivers Trust and the Revere Charitable Trust.

Our led practical volunteering tasks gave both our regular volunteers, villagers, parents and governors opportunities to get hands on and help create the rain garden features, from installing a water butt to digging and planting.
The project aims to raise awareness that water is a valuable resource, not to be wasted and that rain needs permeable places to slowly filter into the ground and recharge the aquifers that feed our chalk streams. The project is a great demonstration site to showcase examples of the small steps that can be taken to improve our rivers. Ideas can be scaled up and down and collectively make a positive difference to the Kennet catchment.
To find out more about river friendly gardening click here and to discover lots of useful resources click here.