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Case Study SUDS Retrofit Schemes in Islington

Ashby Grove Raingarden

Working with Homes for Islington and a range of partners, Islington Council has installed a pilot raingarden in a communal greenspace at Ashby Grove. The photos show the garden before and after the raingarden was installed. Further details of the design are provided via the link at the bottom of the page.

What is a raingarden?
Raingardens are simple gardens planted within shallow basins which are designed to collect roofwater. They provide a number of benefits by reducing flood risk, preventing pollution and providing attractive water features for both people and wildlife.

How does it work?
Rainwater falling on the roof of Ashby Grove is channelled into the garden where it is held for a short time before it slowly drains into the sewer system. This reduces the amount of rain water rushing quickly into drains after heavy storms, reducing the risk of flooding.

What other benefits does it provide?
The raingarden naturally waters the plants in the garden and encourages rainwater to soak into the ground, helping prevent subsidence to buildings which can be caused by clay soils drying out in summer.

This project is one of the first raingardens in the UK. This kind of technique is particularly important in inner city areas like Islington where there is little green space and our Victorian drainage system is under pressure as new homes are built and climate change brings heavier rainfall. The raingarden was designed by SUDS specialist Bob Bray (Robert Bray Associates) and installed by Murphys as part of their community payback following their programme of Decent Homes work on the estate. It is being monitored by Thames Water and Middlesex University so that the benefits it is providing can be measured.

Other pilot projects

Other opportunities for the retrofitting of SUDS in communal greenspace and parks are demonstrated through the additional case studies below for a bioretention area on Ashby Grove estate and a swale and wetland within Spa Fields. Designs for these potential projects are available through the links at the bottom of the page.

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