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.

Lambeth’s Green Community Champions

January 9, 2015

GreenField_jpgLambeth is lucky to have an active network of Green Community Champions; people from right across the borough who have an interest in all things green.

All champions receive our weekly e-newsletter with the latest news on local environmental courses, events, volunteering opportunities and meetings. We also regularly feature news on projects that champions are involved in from food growing to introducing palm trees on a South London housing estate!

This year we’ve a number of  projects that we’d really like our champions to be involved in, from Fairtrade Fortnight next month, to helping bees and improving our air quality, we know we’ll be able to achieve more with the support of the champions network.

If you would like to sign up to receive our newsletter please email How involved you become is entirely up to you; whether you just want to keep yourself informed or you’re really looking to get stuck in, we’d be very happy to have you on board!

Rain Garden at Cressingham Gardens Estate

December 2, 2014

Yesterday, I went along to see work begin on what will be Lambeth’s biggest rain garden.

Currently, water from three downpipes on the estate runs on to a grassed area and then makes its way down and out on to Tulse Hill. During heavy rainfall, a significant amount of water flows down to the road. The garden will help to reduce this by retaining the water and allowing it to slowly soak into the soil.

How does a rain garden work?

A diagram of the planned gardens at Cressingham Gardens.

Cressingham - cut through

The first day


1. We started by marking out the areas for digging. There are three sections and each sits directly under a downpipe.


2. We then carefully removed the turf and placed this to one side to be used later on the berms, or garden walls.


3. Once all the turf had been removed, the hard work really started and we began digging out the gardens. We removed a lot of clay which will have added to the current drainage problems. The remaining earth will be mixed with compost to improve drainage and placed back into garden over a layer of gravel.

Despite the very best efforts of staff and volunteers, we didn’t manage to dig out all of the gardens in one day. Work will continue at a later date and a planting session (which will be rather less strenuous!) will be arranged in the near future.

If you would like to get involved in future sessions, please contact Helen Spring at the Lost Effra Project

We’ll keep you up to date with this project and really look forward to seeing the finished gardens.

If you would like to hear about similar projects, please subscribe to this blog, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our Green Community Champions e-newsletter.




Sign up to receive our weekly Green Community Champion e-newsletter

November 21, 2014

GreenField_jpgWould you like to receive a weekly update of all that’s green in Lambeth? We’ve put together a weekly e-newsletter which is a round up of local events, projects, vacancies, meetings, courses and good news stories.

We are also really happy to receive submissions for the newsletter, so if you are looking for volunteers for your project, would like to advertise your local group or tell us about something you’re working on to make your neighbourhood greener, then please drop us a line at

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.