GREEN fingered school children are joining the fight against flooding.

Pupils at Woodhouse Community Primary School, in Bishop Auckland, have become the first to take part in a scheme by Northumbrian Water, which aims to reduce the amount of surface water running off playgrounds into the sewer network.

A detailed drainage area study has identified areas from across the region that are at risk of flooding.

Working in partnership with The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Northumbrian Water has created a rain garden and sustainable drainage system at the school, which are made up of raised wetland planted beds, a water butt, swale, bog garden, wildlife pond and wildflower areas.

Surface water will be diverted to the garden from various areas within the school grounds to prevent it from entering the sewer network.

Northumbrian Water’s project manager for the scheme, Elaine Smith, said: “Reducing the risk of flooding to our customers’ homes and businesses, and being prepared for the future as rainfall patterns intensify and change, are top priorities for us.

“Removing surface water from our sewer pipes means the network is able to carry more foul waste water and the risk of flooding will be reduced, especially in times of heavy rainfall.”

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has developed an educational programme linked to the garden which will teach children about a number of different aspects including the water cycle, the causes of flooding and sustainable flood solutions.

Laura Tedstone, from The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, said: “This project captures what is really important to us – being sustainable, creating wetland habitat and providing an opportunity for children to learn about and develop a connection with nature.”