As global warming takes effect, water will become an increasingly precious – and pressured – commodity. At the same time, river and surface flooding will become an increasing concern for many communities. Transition Town Lewes has worked with a range of local experts to help address these challenges.

Actions to take

  • Minimise hard paving in your garden and driveway to help reduce surface flooding.
  • Install water butts to collect water for watering the garden – or even explore connecting them to flush toilets.
  • Avoid pouring harmful chemicals, including paints, down your drain or flushing sanitary products and other plastics down the toilet – including disposable wipes.
  • Create raingarden planters to absorb heavy rain while also increasing biodiversity.
  • Avoid using nitrogen-heavy chemicals in the garden which can erode the chalk block that’s critical to filtering Lewes’ drinking water.
  • Check your wastewater pipes aren’t connected to surface water sewers, which lets foul water pollute local watercourses – can be a particualar issue for pre-1920 properties.

What we’ve been doing


TTL has been working for a few years on the idea of using rain gardens to manage surface flooding. Rain gardens are sunken gardens specifically designed to capture and absorb surface water run-off and filter it back into the soil using selected planting. As well as helping to manage surface flooding, they filter pollution and encourage biodiversity. If you don’t have room for a full rain garden, you can build a simple raingarden planter.

We have partnered with Lewes District Council and Brighton Chalk Management Partnership (ChaMP) to discuss locations for rain gardens in Lewes to help manage surface flooding and help filter pollutants out of water. We have also worked with Trinity Church in Southover, Lewes to create a rain garden planter to catch rain run-off from the church roof (pictured).

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