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Wandle Rain Gardens: boosting flood resistance

River Wandle at Morden Hall ParkRiver Wandle at Morden Hall Park (credit Garry Knight/Wikimedia Commons)

Helping people in south-west London improve their community's resilience to flooding and other impacts from climate change

Wandle Rain Gardens is a London Wildlife Trust project which empowers communities living along the course of the River Wandle to create green landscape features which can help retain rainwater - improving resilience to both flooding and drought.

The Wandle has two sources, in Croydon and Carshalton, from where it flows north via Beddington, Mitcham, Morden, Colliers Wood and Wandsworth before reaching the River Thames. It has been utilised by industry over past centuries and became heavily polluted, even being designated a sewer in the 1960s, but the Wandle is now making a strong recovery and welcoming back wildlife. It remains the only uncovered river in London which has both its source and its mouth within the city, and can be walked in a single day.

We are now working with local people around the area of the Wandle Valley Regional Park, in Wandsworth, Merton and Sutton boroughs, to create rain gardens that raise awareness of the local threats posed by climate change, as well as the likely impacts on the Wandle itself.

River Wandle in Beddington (credit Dr Neil Clifton/Wikimedia Commons)

River Wandle at Morden Hall Park (credit Jim Linwood/Wikimedia Commons)River Wandle at Ravensbury Park (credit Dudley Miles/Wikimedia Commons)


We're helping people make practical adaptations in their gardens and community spaces by diverting rainwater away from drains – both saving water and reducing pressure on the sewage system. This is done through the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems  (SuDS) that create natural features to store rainwater such as rain gardens, green roofs and water butts.

Wandle Rain Gardens is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and is being delivered by London Wildlife Trust with local people as part of the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership. It will run for one year, until October 2017.

If you would like to learn more or get involved, please email us on or call Project Officer Rachel Dowse on 020 3897 6151.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)


Living with Rainwater

Living With Rainwater guide

Living with Rainwater is a community guide to creating urban greenspaces for environmental resilience.

This is the Wandle Rain Garden project’s introductory guide to creating household scale rain gardens, building green roofs, depaving and fitting rainwater harvesting.

Click on the image, left, to access your free download.



You can follow Wandle Rain Gardens on Twitter to see the latest updates from the project.


Heritage Lottery FundLiving Wandle Landscape PartnershipWandle Valley Regional Park