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Slough urged to become ‘town fit for the future’ at World Wetlands Day celebration centred on climate change

Posted on 08 Feb 2019

Councillors, town planners and mosque members met at St Mary’s Primary water garden to hear about the benefits of small but mighty wetlands against extreme weather.

They also learned how Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can engage the community, help wildlife as well as mitigate flooding, at the event, organised by WWT’s Saving the Salt Hill Stream.

This year’s World Wetlands Day is themed around climate change and how wetlands big and small, rural and urban, are useful tools to protect from the effects of climate change.

Claire Hutchinson, Working Wetlands Conservation Officer at WWT, said;

WWT has been working with St Mary’s Primary to adapt their buildings and grounds to soak up rainfall and create wildlife-rich wetlands that mimic the natural water cycle.

These rainscapes and wetlands are the simple, natural solution to severe environmental problems and we want Slough to implement these features and become a town fit for the future.

The wetland at St Mary’s Primary was created in 2017 by local volunteers and school kids through the Saving the Salt Hill Stream project, with the help of Thames Water and Environment Agency.

WWT hopes future projects will include these features and that rainscapes are retro-fitted across existing developments in Slough so that it can be a leader in climate change adaptation.

Members from the Jamia Masjid and Islamic Centre also hope to add rainscapes to their grounds.

The term Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) covers all ways of managing rainwater by mimicking natural processes. They slow down the flow of water once it hits our roofs and the ground and filter out pollution by catching it in the roots and stems of water-loving plants. The result is that rainwater is cleaner than if it had run straight down the drain. The benefits are particularly useful in built up areas.

World Wetlands Day is held to mark the adoption of the Convention of Wetlands on February 2nd 1971 in the city of Ramsar in Iran.