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

Yorkshire Water and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust began work on their first “Soak it Up” project on Friday, constructing a pond garden and swale to help reduce the impact of surface water at Ainthorpe Primary School in Hull.

The scheme, which will be 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 and 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, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and teachers all mucked in to work on the pond and swales with pupils also getting involved in planting.

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 us installing a pond and swale they get to see every day the benefits they bring.”

The swale will help prevent water seeping out onto the school’s neighbour’s property, while the pond will encourage local wildlife into the area and help soak up rainwater.

Principal at Ainthorpe School, Shane Davy, said: “The project has been amazing from all aspects. Educating the children about how to reduce localised flooding, allowing them the opportunity to design their own flood defences along with these being created on the school grounds by the wonderful volunteers. It is something that we can use to educate our children in future years as well.”

The MP for Hull West and Hessle, Emma Hardy, who visited the school to see the work, said: “It was fantastic to visit Ainthorpe Primary School and see the Soak It Up project first-hand. I welcome this really innovative way of involving children and the wider community in solving the environmental problem of flooding. It was clear to see how much the children enjoyed working on this and I’m sure they’ll have learned a lot from the opportunity.”