Newham

Renfrew Rain Garden officially opened

25 June 2015 in Environment and Events
A special environmentally friendly community garden in Beckton which stores rain water to support growing plants was officially opened on Tuesday 23 June 2015.
The Renfrew Rain Garden, in Renfrew Close, was opened by the Deputy Mayor of Newham, Councillor Lester Hudson and has been designed to harvest rain water from the roofs of nearby houses. The water is channelled into special basins, instead of the drainage system, which allows the water to be slowly soaked up by the soil and the plants.

The garden was created by a partnership including Newham Council’s Community Neighbourhood team, Groundwork London, Thames Water and the University of East London.

The opening was organised by the Beckton and Royal Docks Community Neighbourhood team. It is one of eight community neighbourhood teams established by Newham Council to bring local people together through activities and initiatives to become stronger and more resilient communities.

Funded by the Environment Agency, the garden has been designed by Robert Bray Associates, with the help of local residents and schoolchildren from Winsor Primary School, which is next to the garden.

The design means the garden acts as a sponge, draining the water slowly into the ground helping maintain it in a ‘green’ way and create an attractive environment for wildlife including birds, bees and butterflies. It also relieves the pressure on the local drainage system during flash flooding preventing it from overflowing.

The garden includes a play area for children – with a stepping stone path of boulders and a balancing beam - as well as an ornamental area providing space where people can relax.

Winsor Primary School also has a special monitoring station on its roof to check on the rainwater levels. The schoolchildren will be able to use the information in their lessons.

Councillor Hudson said: “Once again this is a fantastic example of a wide range of partners and residents coming together to create an environment that can be enjoyed by the local community whether for play, relaxation or education.

“The grass, flowers and plants are brought to life in an innovative, sustainable and environmentally friendly way. It is a scheme of many benefits which I know the community will enjoy for many years to come.”