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Belper News Article 08/03/15

Strutts Community Centre - Rain Garden

There is much work done at Strutts that is unseen, but our regular users can't avoid the excavations at the entrance to our grounds which have disrupted car parking on site. This latest development will create a “rain garden” as a national demonstration project of Sustainable Urban Drainage to reduce the flood risk in our rivers. The rainwater from our roofs and tarmac will be diverted into the garden rather than directly into the main sewer. The work has been initiated and funded by the Trent River Trust together with the Environment Agency, who are regular users of Strutts facilities. The River Derwent is one of the main tributaries of the Trent. We expect that the hard landscaping will be completed by the end of this month.

A rain garden mimics nature and manages rainfall close to where it falls. This will prevent it all from flowing into the sewage system and overwhelming it when there is heavy rain, bringing raw sewage into the river and even into people's homes. It will be a beautiful garden with a range of flowering plants. The only difference from a normal garden is that all the features are concave so water can flow slowly and settle, and will have plants which are good in these conditions. More information on rain gardens can be found at www.sustainabledrainage.co.uk.

We want to source as many of the 1,200 plants as we can from the community to keep costs down and we are aiming to have courses on how to make your own rain gardens. Anyone who helps will get priority booking and a free place on any course we run.

Donated plants need to be on the list, so please contact Strutts Community Centre or email Reception@strutts.org.uk for details. Our first planting day with Bob Bray the designer will be on March 14th, but we will need help in the following weeks to finish any planting and to manage the gardening into the future.

This Project demonstrates our commitment to running the Centre in a sustainable manner and will complement our existing flower beds, making the site more visually attractive. It will take a couple of years to fully establish the plants, and contribute to the town's efforts for Belper in Bloom.

You can make a difference. If you would like to help in any way with the Strutts Community Project please contact me, Nick McLeod, at Strutts tel: 01773 599993.

Nick McLeod

Chairman of Trustees

Guardians of Strutts