Wendy Allen
Gardens, Rain Gardens, Green Roofs

Rain Gardens at Schools

Creating green, fun and educational play spaces to get kids and adults thinking about rainwater, wildlife and nature. My recent rain gardens incorporate water play and natural play, eye-catching downpipes, water butts, stormwater planters, bug hotels, green roofs, vegetable beds, sandpits, wildflowers and biodiverse planting.

See also Stormwater Planters and Downpipes, About Rain Gardens and About Green Roofs.

St. Michael's Primary School Rain Garden

St. Michael's Primary School Rain Garden

It's been a great experience designing and creating this recently completed rain garden with boardwalk, stepping stones, natural play boulders, water butts, sandpit & mud play and wildlife pond area with UK Rivers Trust Action for the River Kennet.

This creative use of SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) will benefit the rare habitat of the local chalk stream as well as acting as an educational and play resource.

St Michael's School, Aldbourne parents, grandparents and teachers, and many community volunteers & local businesses all generously gave their time to complete the build.
Boardwalk and plants/trees were kindly donated from Thames Water & Garden Club London's gold medal winning 'Flourishing Futures' garden at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival 2019.

Funded by ARK - Action for the River Kennet Rainscapes project, St. Michael's School Aldbourne, and Thames Rivers Trust. More images from this project can can be found on @wendyallendesigns facebook page.

The Rain Garden at Baydon St. Nicholas Primary School

The Rain Garden at Baydon St. Nicholas Primary School

Designed by Wendy Allen for Action for the River Kennet in 2018, the garden at this school features:

Rain garden – a shallow planted depression with adaptable plants which tolerate periods of drought and waterlogging.

A dramatic galvanised steel arc taking water from the gutter directly into the garden.

A galvanised steel walkway bridge and stepping stones which enable children to cross the rain garden and view the plants.

An 800L water butt captures water from a roof for water play and watering, any excess overflows to the rain garden to infiltrate slowly.

A wildlife habitat area with a play-grade barkchip surface, containing a curved dead hedge, a log pile, a bug hotel made from stacked wooden pallets.

The existing hedge was laid and improved to create a species rich hedgerow, a habitat listed on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. The hedge has been laid in a Midland style by local hedgelayer David Bolt, and now contains hawthorn, buckthorn, field maple, crab apple and hazel.

Ramsbury Primary School Rainscape

Ramsbury Primary School Rainscape

Funded by Action for the River Kennet, this Rainscape included interconnected stormwater planters made from cattle troughs, a water wheel and a small (but perfectly formed) rain garden and bridge.

Built with the much valued help of volunteers from the school and local community.

Ramsbury Pre-School Green Roof for Small Spaces

Ramsbury Pre-School Green Roof for Small Spaces

Fitting in well to the new pre-school garden, my design for a brightly-coloured downpipe, ending in a watering can which empties onto a green roof - a BinDock from The Front Yard Company. This in turn overflows down a rain chain to a stormwater planter (a ladybird tractor tyre). In periods of heavy rainfall, the rainwater can be diverted back down the original downpipe.

Design for Ramsbury Primary School

Design for Ramsbury Primary School

This garden was built with the help of parents and ARK (Action for the River Kennet) volunteers, mainly from materials which were reclaimed or donated.

ARK supported this water efficient garden as part of their Ramsbury Community River and Wildlife Project, funded by Tesco Bags of Help.