Yorkshire Water and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust start work on Ninelands Soak it Up project

Yorkshire Water and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust began work on a “Soak it Up” project, planting trees, constructing a rain garden planter and a water butt planter to help reduce the impact of surface water at Ninelands Primary School in Garforth.

The scheme, which is in the process of being introduced in schools across the county, sees the two organisations go into schools and community centres to raise awareness of sustainable drainage and how it can help prevent flooding as well as help the environment.

Following a successful workshop which gave pupils the opportunity to learn about and build their own sustainable drainage, it was time to get hands dirty and put some of the plans into action.

Volunteers from Yorkshire Water and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust mucked in to work on installing the drainage systems.

Yorkshire Water Campaign Project Co-ordinator, Nicole Jones, said: “With more hard surfaces around, less rainwater is being absorbed into the ground which can cause flooding while additional litter and pollutants can get into the system and cause blockages.

“Soak It Up lets pupils know what they can do in school and at home to help and with those installations they get to see every day the benefits they bring.”

The water butt planter will take water from the guttering, water the plants on top of the butt and provide water for other plants in the garden, while the rain garden planter will use water from guttering for plants in a raised bed.

Deputy Headteacher at Ninelands Primary School, Helen Thomson, said: “Flooding is a real issue for our community so the children were eager to learn about the part they could play in slowing the flow of water into the existing drainage system.  They got a great deal from discussing the possible solutions we could have around school and then seeing the designs being realised by the team of volunteers.”

The MP for Elmet and Rothwell, Alec Shelbrooke, who visited the school to see the work, said: I thoroughly enjoyed being back at Ninelands Primary School. It was great to hear about the hard work Yorkshire Water and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust had been doing to educate the children about sustainable drainage and to see the all the hard work they had done. Soak it Up is an excellent idea and I hope the children shared what they learnt and build some at home too!”

For information on Soak it Up and tips on how you can create your own sustainable drainage, visit the Soak It Up webpage.