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Rainwater Planters project launch

Brecks schools get involved in our brand new BFER Rainwater Planters project

Rainwater Planters project launch

This autumn, we are launching an exciting new schools project through our Volunteering and Engagement programme. The project focuses upon water sustainability, and will work with four schools in the heart of the Brecks. The project is being developed and delivered by landscape and garden designer Mia Witham.

Mia will work with each of the four schools, who will receive a specially designed rainwater planter. In October, Mia kick-started the project with a school assembly to pupils of Norwich Road Academy, Thetford. The pupils’ engagement was fantastic, with many keen to share their interest in caring for nature and the environment.


School pupils listen to a school assembly

Mia shows pupils of Norwich Road Academy, Thetford, a miniature model of the rainwater planters

The Rainwater Planters

These raised planters will help schools to reuse natural rainwater collected from their school roofs to sustainably grow plants. Each school will receive a planter which will be attached to an exterior downpipe on their school grounds. This will capture rainwater collected on the school roof, and feed it down directly into the planter. The planters will be filled with plants that are chosen for their biodiversity. These will be hardy varieties that are tolerant to both draught and deluge, such as yellow irises. Inside the planters, different layers of soil, grit, and gravel will help protect the roots from water log. Each planter will also have an outflow tap. This will help to drain away any excess water. Schools can use this to fill watering cans and water other areas of their gardens.


Water saving in the Brecks

The Brecks is one of the driest landscapes in the UK. For this reason, it is extra important to support sustainability when it comes to saving water. This project will help pupils to learn about their local environment, rivers, and wildlife, and the importance of reducing water wastage.

The Project

Each school will assist in the construction, planting, and care of the planters and plants. The planters will provide opportunity for a real life practical experimentation in a variety of STEM subjects. Pupils will monitor water levels to analyse the rain fall, the water consumption of the plants, and how much water they save as a school. In addition, they will have practical opportunities to learn about and enjoy plant species, and care for them within their school garden.