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Play time at Oakthorpe Primary School in Bowe

The installation of the SuDS has been led by Enfield Council to create much needed flood protection for the school, while also providing attractive, green features that will help with learning about the environment, biodiversity and climate change.The feature has also helped to make distinct areas in the  playground, with ball games and more boisterous fun in one space and a place for relaxation and reflection in another.The funding for the project came from the Mayor of London’s Grow Back Greener Fund which aims to support a wide range of projects to help make London greener, fairer, healthier and more climate resilient.  

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Rick Jewell and the Deputy Leader Cllr Ergin Erbil joined Oakthorpe Primary pupils at a planting session (26 September). Cllr Jewell said: “The new SuDS at Oakthorpe School has had an amazing impact. The playground has totally changed from a large, grey paved area to a thing of beauty. By the spring, the plants will be thriving and hopefully, there will be lots of visiting insects and pollinators. Importantly, during downpours, these rain gardens will absorb lots of water, so the children will still be able to play outside. The work here and at the neighbouring Kiln Lane Open Space will prevent further flooding and pollution from dirty run-off water from roads.”

Alongside the school, work has begun on the Tile Kiln Open Space, a leafy, hidden area of meadow, woodland and brook which lies south of the North Circular where the A406 meets the A10. The intention is to create a new wetland natural trail, which can be enjoyed by pupils and residents. Our partners Thames21 has hosted a number of community planting days and river clean up sessions along the Pymmes Brook.

Cllr Erbil added: “Enfield Council is keen to improve the quality of life for all our residents. We have tried to identify unique and effective ways to introduce planting, nature restoration and flood management solutions, which also contribute to our climate action targets and help us to move closer to a carbon net neutral position. Our ambition is for Enfield to become a greener, more sustainable borough.”

To volunteer for planting and river restoration events in Enfield, visit the Thames21 events page and sign up today.

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