South East Rivers Trust (& the Wandle Trust)

What you can do

With simple steps, you can help protect your community from flooding.  Click on each measure below for more information about steps you can take.

A rain garden planter
  • A rain garden planter makes use of the water that lands on the roof
  • Water from the downpipe is directed into the planter
  • The soil / compost mix absorbs and stores the rainwater for the plants to use
  • The outlet pipe allows excess water to drain away
  • Click here for instructions to make your own rain garden planter
Install a water butt
  • A water butt is one of the easiest SuDS features to install
  • It stores water from the roof so it can be used in the garden
  • It saves rain from the drain
  • It reduces water used for watering


Make a rain garden
  • If you have room, why not direct the rain from your roof into a rain garden
  • Rain gardens can also be installed to collect the run off from paved areas
Green your garden

Adding areas of planting to your garden has a range of benefits

  • It improves the space for wildlife
  • Greening your garden makes it look nicer
  • Having access to nature on your doorstep is good for your well being
Pave with permeable
  • Permeable surfaces allow water to infiltrate into the ground below
  • Permeable paving can include cobbled paving with gaps between the cobbles
  • It can also include paving that looks like standard asphalt but is porous 

The difference you can make

To inform policy for the London Plan of 2011, the Greater London Authority (GLA) commissioned London Wildlife Trust and Greenspace Information for Greater London to undertake a study into changes to London’s domestic gardens (London: garden city? Investigating the changing anatomy of London’s private gardens, and the scale of their loss ). The study found that:

  • The area of vegetated land present in 1998-99 had dropped 12% in 2006-08, a loss of 3,000 ha.
  • On average, an area of vegetated garden land the size of 2.5 Hyde Parks was lost each year.
  • The amount of hard surfacing in London’s gardens increased by 26% or 2,600 ha.
  • The area of garden buildings increased in area by 55% or 1,000 ha.
  • The amount of lawn decreased by 16% or 2,200 ha.
  • Overall vegetation in gardens decreased by 12% or 3,000 ha

These large-scale changes in garden cover across London have mainly come about due to small changes to individual gardens.  But this also means that individual people and families can reverse these trends, using the simple steps in the panels above to help us all change our urban landscape back from grey to green.