Green-tech helps Bradford Council create a network of rain gardens to reduce flooding

Green-tech helps Bradford Council create a network of rain gardens to reduce flooding

Project:Bradford Top of Town Public Realm

Location:Bradford, West Yorkshire

Client:City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Contractor:Eric Wright Civil Engineering

Product/Services Supplied:Green-tree soils

Bradford Council secured funding to carry out highway improvements and sustainable landscaping works to an area of the city known locally as the ‘Top of Town’.

The funding was secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, through the Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme, and European Regional Development Fund, through the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The project, designed by Bradford Council’s own Landscape Architects and Highways Engineers, set out to create a safe, healthy, attractive, and community-friendly environment for residents, workers, and visitors, which supports existing and new businesses at the Top of Town. It focused on North Parade, Rawson Square, and Northgate with a view to these public realm works being rolled out to the wider City Village area in the future.

A community engagement programme was conducted and resulted in overwhelming support for the greening of public spaces and the creation of new public spaces. The designs that were developed reflect the public consultation by introducing street trees and rain gardens and creating better public spaces on Northgate and Rawson Square.

Eric Wright Civil Engineering was awarded this high-specification public realm scheme and following the specifications set by the Council’s Landscape Architects turned to Green-tech for the supply of materials for the soft Landscaping element of the project.

The project aims to deliver local improvements that help tackle climate change, reduce the risk of surface water flooding, and help preserve and protect the environment of the conservation area.

This is addressed in the soft landscaping scheme that included the installation of a new tree planting scheme and raised rain gardens as part of a Sustainable drainage system (SuDS) throughout the scheme, which consisted of planting 2,000 plants and 34 trees.

The Project Landscape Architect, Andrew Mindham, has been recognised as a Rising Star in the 2023 susdrain SuDS Champions Awards.

SuDS are designed to manage stormwater locally to mimic natural drainage and encourage its infiltration, attenuation, and passive treatment. A network of ‘rain gardens’ has been installed in Bradford as part of a drainage system that is designed to help mitigate local flooding risks.

Rain gardens are areas of planting designed to temporarily hold, filter, and soak away any rainwater that runs off buildings and paved areas in a more sustainable manner rather than straight into sewers and helps to prevent the overloading of sewers.

Green-tech supplied 440 tonnes of Bioretention Soil and 240 tonnes of Green-tree subsoil to create the rain gardens. Green-tree Bioretention Soil provides an efficient permeability rate to avoid waterlogging on the surface area but holds sufficient nutrient levels and organic matter to support the vegetation used. It has been developed around the CIRIA SuDS manual guidelines for filter media in a SuDS application and uses the highest quality sands and green composts.

The planting of semi-mature trees will contribute to the physical landscape, whilst creating new habitats and increasing biodiversity by providing wildlife corridors and connections between green spaces. Providing options for wildlife to travel is essential for urban biodiversity.

Working in a busy city centre with high volumes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic caused significant challenges for all involved. There was limited access to areas of the site and restricted space for material storage. Needing to avoid double handling and risk of contamination, all soils were delivered directly to the working areas with GRAB lorries and spread within the planters. A just-in-time delivery approach was adopted which considered the works access and delivery times to reduce the impact on the local area.

Harry Logg, Project Manager from Eric Wright Civil comments, “This project was within a heritage area, traditional high-quality paving was installed throughout the site and the soft landscaping had to compliment that. Green-tech was chosen as they supply specialist soils to a high specification, meeting our biosoil drainage requirements whilst also being competitively priced. They are collaborative in their approach to working. Ben from Green-tech was always available by phone and email to respond quickly to the deliveries we requested and kept us updated on their scheduling. This was a critical factor in the success of the site given its location. The soils delivered were always of the same consistent quality, had good workability, and the new planting within soon flourished. We are delighted with the end results”.

Posted on 07 Feb 2024