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Rainwater Capture Cube at RHS Urban reveals thinking ‘inside the box’ to tackle flooding

Posted: 19/04/24

Article by About Manchester: 19/04/2024


As partners within the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (North West RFCC), the Environment Agency, United Utilities, and Lancashire County Council are proud to be featuring at the brand new RHS Urban show.

Taking place at the Mayfield Depot, Manchester (18-21 April), The RFCC have created a cube shaped installation called the Rainwater Capture Cube which is filled with innovative solutions to capture, store, and reuse rainwater to help tackle localised flooding.

Multi-Award-Winning Garden designer, Leon Davis, has produced the Rainwater Capture Cube, having previously designed and constructed Gold Medal and Best in Show gardens at RHS Tatton.

This installation aims to inform and inspire householders to include permeable surfaces, consider the use of sustainable drainage components (SuDS), collect and store rainwater for reuse, and to encourage climate resilient planting schemes in their gardens.


Katy Bevan, United Utilities Operations Manager Rainwater Management said:

“Leon has been working with United Utilities to promote the need to make the North West more resilient to the extremes of weather brought on by climate change for a number of years.

“Most recently he’s been involved in rainwater harvesting schemes at allotments and communities across the North West.

“As well as designing and constructing a gold medal award-winning rainwater garden at RHS Tatton, he has created rain gardens at Manchester art gallery and a community rain garden in Moss Side.”

Innovative ideas that have been brought together in the compact pop-up space include a slow-release water butt, a seat created from a rain garden, self-watering hanging baskets, a cycle store with a green roof and permeable paving surfaces.

Visitors will be able to explore a range of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) that provide an alternative to the direct channelling of surface water through networks of pipes and sewers to nearby watercourses.


Crystal Orton, Environment Agency Flood Risk Advisor and Project Manager said:

“As a partnership we’re excited about the potential this Rainwater Capture Cube has in making Sustainable Drainage and Rainwater Harvesting a positive mainstream concept.

“We hope householders across the North West feel empowered and confident in incorporating these concepts at home, as a personal contribution towards improving flood risk, water quality, urban cooling, and biodiversity.

“Our Rainwater Capture Cube is part of a wider North West RFCC led project called ‘Unpave the Way’ which aims to raise awareness of the problems associated with an increasing trend of greenspace within front gardens being replaced with hard impermeable surfaces.

“Collectively this can increase the risk of flooding by increasing the amount and speed of surface water runoff from front gardens.”


Rachel Crompton, LCC Principal Flood Risk Officer said:

“Lancashire County Council is supporting this innovative project, working with the Environment Agency and United Utilities plc to educate people on the flood risks caused by paving over front garden spaces, and on the opportunities that are unlocked by using permeable parking solutions.

“We hope that the Rainwater Capture Cube at the RHS Urban Show will inspire people to use the space in their urban gardens for exciting and beautiful planting as well as for sustainable ways to capture and use rainwater.”

‘Unpave the Way’ have another exciting exhibition this summer which will be unveiled soon. Therefore, keep up to date with the latest news by following ‘Unpave the Way’ on Facebook and Instagram.


For a link to the original news article, please click here.