Using Rainwater

Making better use of rainwater has become crucial - whether to harvest and store rainwater for dry weather or avoid flooding during excessive rain. An obvious way to use rainwater is installing water butts, but there are some clever ways to build a garden around water.

The Mayor of London's office put together a great booklet illustrating options for schools (see link below).

Rain Garden

Guiding rainwater into a small basin, covered with water-loving plants. Usually, runoff water from roofs or hard surfaces that can be guided into the rain garden by pipes.

Rain Planter/ Pond

Rainwater from roofs flow into a raised planter or pond using downpipes. Excess storm water could be guided into another rain garden.


A trench to collect and a berm to capture rainwater. A swale can be planted with water-loving trees such as alder or willow or smaller plants like grasses.