Kent County Council is undertaking an innovative programme of work in Margate to reduce the risk of flooding and heat stress.
Work has recently been completed at George Park to help decrease flood risk to the local area.
The project diverts surface water from the neighbouring highways that had previously entered the combined sewer system and could lead to local flooding.
The new ponds and swales in the park provide a natural storage volume of 761m3 of surface water. The stored water can slowly filter through the planting and back into the ground, increasing the capacity of the sewer and supporting sustainable water management.
The new landscaping in the park provides multiple benefits – as well as flood and temperature mitigation there’s a more attractive environment and a network of footpaths. The project has engaged with the Isle of Thanet Tree and Woodland Initiative to include over 40 trees within the park which will be planted by the local community group.
This landscaping is just the start and further works are planned on the adjacent roads to the park. These streets suffer from heat stress during the summer and form part of the catchment which during heavy rains results in flooding.
Over 30 trees will be planted along two roads, 11 of the trees will be installed in tree pits which will also help manage surface water by collecting and infiltrating the water back into the ground.
The species of trees, a mixture of Maples and Maidenhair trees have been selected for their canopy size to generate shade, their ability to withstand drought and heavy rainfall as well as being good for biodiversity and improving air quality. Work is due to be completed in Spring 2021.
KCC Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “Tree planting in the right places with the right trees can help mitigate the effect of heavy rainfall and high summer temperatures.”
“KCC has been working on the Cool Towns project, which aims to understand and address local climate risks and we’ve been looking for opportunities to plant trees where they can reduce the impact of summer temperatures and at the same time create attractive spaces for residents and visitors.
“Margate was selected as an ideal opportunity to bring together two projects which deliver climate change adaptations. Increasing the network of blue green infrastructure and urban trees and woodland can reduce the air temperature in urban areas, reflect more sunlight and provide shade during the summer months as well as manage surface water flood risk.”
The work is being funded by the EU Interreg North Seas Region project Blue Green Infrastructure with Social Innovation (BEGIN), the EU Interreg 2 Seas project, Cool Towns and the DEFRA Urban Tree Challenge Fund.
Projects funded by these schemes look for ways to adapt urban green space to manage surface water flooding and heat stress and reduce the impacts of climate change and create attractive spaces with multiple uses.