Reducing flood risk in Lambeth

February 27, 2015

floodSign_jpgThis week the Lambeth Local Flood Risk Management Strategy was published online, with hard copies available in all Lambeth libraries.  The strategy provides an overview of what we, as the Lead Local Flood Authority, plan to do to reduce the risk of flooding in the future.

The strategy covers many topics related to flooding in Lambeth and it shows how addressing flooding can have many positive impacts on other environmental problems.  One example is the use of Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS).

SuDS mimic natural drainage and reduce the amount of water entering the sewer system.  SuDS can range from green roofs and walls, to rain gardens and engineered tree pits, which have the ability to store water. In addition to reducing the amount of surface water runoff, SuDs present a number of positive side effects:

  • reducing the urban heat island effects, cooling the street temperature by replacing hard surfaces with plants;
  • reducing air pollution by planting trees and plants;
  • improving water quality;
  • improving biodiversity through planting native and nectar-rich species, encouraging more insects and wildlife to an area;
  • improving the local environment and creating more green spaces;

We been at the forefront of delivering SuDS in London, through Highways and Parks projects and through working with community groups and residents. We are also proud to have worked with the London Wildlife Trust helping to introduce SuDS along the route of the lost River Effra.

SuDS are just one way we can reduce flood risk in the Borough.  For information visit our website and have a look at the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.

Don’t pour it, store it! New oil recycling banks come to Lambeth.

November 25, 2013

Oil recycling bankIt is estimated that UK households purchase over 200 million litres of cooking oil per year and on average 110,000,000 litres of this oil is poured down drains. That’s enough cooking oil to fill an incredible 44 Olympic swimming pools!

Unfortunately, disposing of oil in this way causes problems for our sewer systems. Approximately £15 million is spent annually on clearing blockages from our sewers. You may remember the ‘Fatberg’  story from earlier this year, when a bus sized lump of fat and wet wipes was removed from drains under Kingston-upon-Thames.

There are approximately 200,000 sewer blockages throughout the UK every year, of which up to 75% are caused by fats, oils and grease and approximately 1,000 homes and 5,000 gardens in the Thames region flood with sewage as a result of blockages in the sewers.

Recycle your oil into biodiesel

A much better way to dispose of cooking oil is to deposit it in one of our new recycling banks, where it will be recycled into biodiesel. Biodiesel is a replacement fuel, which is better for the environment than petrol and diesel, and produces fewer emissions.

The banks collect cooking oil in plastic bottles, so once you have finished cooking wait for the oil to cool and pour it into a plastic bottle. Once the bottle is full, screw the lid on tightly and take the bottle to one of the oil recycling banks. Place the secured bottle into the green cooking oil recycling bank and, when the bank is full, we will arrange for this to be emptied and the oil and fats within recycled into a biofuel. The used plastic bottles are recycled separately.

You will find the new oil recycling banks at the following locations:

Join us at our next green roof workshop

January 30, 2013
Residents building their own green roofs

Residents building their own green roofs

Earlier this month 27 Lambeth residents attended a Small Green Roof workshop in Kennington. The workshop, supported by Lambeth Council, was organised by Urban Wild Project and run by Reset Development aimed to encourage and enable attendees to develop their own green roofs at home and in the wider community.

The day featured presentations and a practical session where residents were able to build a section of a green roof. Attendees also listened to wildlife and bee expert David Perkins of the importance of green roofs in the urban environment for bees and other invertebrates.

What is a green roof and what are the benefits?

Green roofs are partially or wholly covered in vegetation and they can help to:

  • Improve surface water management
  • Increase the variety of wildlife present
  • Reduce heat island effect (where cities are warmer than rural areas due to human activity)
  • Improve insulation

Green roofs can be considered for homes, community and commercial buildings and even your garden shed!

We are planning to organise more workshops for Lambeth residents; so if you would like to find out more, please register your interest by emailing Future workshops will be on building green roofs and related topics such as rain gardens.

We need you to help us produce Lambeth’s Flood Strategy

January 21, 2013

Flooding workshopIt may surprise you to learn that 46,000 households in Lambeth are at risk of surface water flooding in the event of very heavy rainfall – that’s over a third of all households. All Councils are now required to plan for such events and we need you to help us produce Lambeth’s Flood Strategy.

The Strategy must include the following:

  • an assessment of local flood risk in Lambeth
  • what flood risk issues need to be managed
  • how these issues will be managed.

We are also producing a Residents Guide, which will show the flood risk and proposed plans for each Ward. The guide will also include advice on actions you can take to reduce the risk of flooding at home and wider actions to tackle the surface water run-off in general.

To ensure the Strategy and guide are useful to you, we need as much input from you as possible.

There are a number of ways in which you can get involved.

Complete the online survey

It will only take a few minutes to give us your opinions and feedback online.

Attend our workshop

We are holding a workshop on the 31st January 2013 starting at 6.45pm and finishing at 9pm. We need 50 or so residents to come along and help us to develop our plans.

The session will include an introduction to the Strategy and local flood issues; small discussion groups on the proposed plans, an opportunity to feedback on the Residents Guide.

Light refreshments will be provided. If you are interested in attending please email for details.

Email us

If you are interested but cannot attend the workshop, we would still value your input. Please email and we will send you draft documents for your feedback and comments.

For general information on how you can help to reduce the flood risk in Lambeth, please visit our flooding web page.

Depaving comes to Lambeth!

October 16, 2012

We worked with residents of Reedworth Street in Kennington to carry out the UK’s first specifically designed depave.

40% of the paving on the driveways of the two properties was removed and replaced with gravel and soil, creating new areas for planting while still allowing the residents to use the space for parking.

Driveway before depaving










Why depave?

An area equal to that of seven Hyde Parks has been lost to concreted front gardens in London. Depaving allows water to soak back into the ground naturally rather than run-off as it does from concrete. Once the water has soaked through the soil and gravel, it helps to replenish groundwater supplies and can also help to reduce the risk of flooding.

Depaving also contributes to reducing the urban heat island effect and when the depaved area is planted, you will see other benefits such as a reduction in CO2 and airborne pollutants. It also enhances the street scene.

Would you like to depave?

If you are interested in depaving part of your property we can provide advice and help with materials, tools and waste disposal.

We will be promoting depave through Community Freshview, however if you or a group of residents or community group would like to discuss undertaking a depave, please call 020 7926 9000 or email

For more information please visit or see a case study of the work carried out on Reedworth Street.