Reducing flood risk at home

Emily Cooper


Today, we're going to help you to reduce flood risk at home. Many people are worried about the impacts of flooding on their home. In extreme cases or areas prone to flooding, there's nothing that can be done to reduce the risk—but sometimes, there are steps we can take which encourage water to drain away, rather than accumulating on the surface. These measures are forms of Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs). SUDs help to manage surface water through largely natural approaches. The best part is that a lot of these measures provide other benefits, whether that's by boosting biodiversity or simply looking great.

1. Rain garden planter:

Planters are a great way to reduce flood risk: they look fantastic, attract wildlife, and help to buffer against the effects of heavy rainfall. By placing a planter underneath a gutter or sloping roof, you can slow the flow of water - as well as purifying it before it reaches the ground! South East Rivers Trust have a fantastic guide on how to make your own planter.

2. A (real!) grass lawn:

It is becoming increasingly popular to rip up grassy lawns and replace them with concrete or fake grass. However, keeping green spaces and areas of exposed earth in your garden is very important—both for wildlife and flood risk. Although some types of fake grass are designed to be permeable, natural grass provides better drainage and doesn't involve the creation of more plastic

3. Permeable paving and driveways:

If you have a driveway or a pathway on your property, replacing impermeable materials like concrete with permeable surfaces can massively reduce flood risk. Rather than collecting on the surface, this will allow water to drain away into the earth at a natural pace.

4. A green roof for your shed:

Installing a green roof on your shed can provide a welcome haven for insects and birds, as well as reducing the speed at which water hits the ground. Check out this guide to find out how you can create your own green roof.

5. A water butt:

Positioning a water butt beneath your gutter can capture excess water during periods of heavy rain. It also means that, once things dry up a bit, you have lots of water that hasn't been abstracted from your local river.

6. Trees, shrubs and hedges:

Vegetation can help to slow the flow of water across a landscape, reducing the chance of flash flooding. In addition, plants can help to filter contaminants out of the water, meaning that runoff from the roads will be cleaned before entering your garden.
This post has been supported by the North Sea Region Interreg project, WaterCoG. WaterCoG
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