Rain Garden UK is an ARK project. It began life as a working partnership between Charlotte Hitchmough, Director of Action for the River Kennet and Wendy Allen, gold-medal winning rain garden designer.
Both Charlotte and Wendy wanted to bring their passion and expertise designing and building real-life Rainscapes to a wider audience. Courses take the mystery out of rain gardens, whilst encouraging creative gardening.
They pass on all the skills, knowledge and confidence to enable individuals, homeowners, residents, businesses and community groups to construct these nature-based SuDS solutions.
Charlotte Hitchmough is the director at Action for the River Kennet, she is also on the board of the Thames Rivers Trust and the national Rivers Trust. She has worked in the world of water and rivers for over 25 years, during which time she has run many award winning projects ranging from chalkstream habitat restoration, community engagement, natural flood management, wetland creation and rain garden construction.
As well as completing CPD training in sustainable drainage (SuDS) and natural flood management (NFM) Charlotte has provided advice to garden designers on recreating chalkstream habitat for show gardens and most recently has been working with Wendy Allen to create exciting, functional rain gardens in schools.
Her own garden in Wiltshire absorbs all the rainwater that falls on the property via a green roof, giant water butts, decorative downpipes and rain chains, rills, a rain garden, permeable surfaces, wildflower areas and a ‘dug during lockdown’ pond.
Wendy Allen is an experienced award-winning UK garden designer specialising in creative, biodiverse SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems), including rain gardens.
Her rain garden ‘The Rain Chain’ won a Gold medal and the ‘Best Sustainable Garden’ award at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2009, and features in the ‘UK Rain Gardens Guide’ and on the RHS Rain Gardens website.
In addition Wendy designs and builds rainscape schemes for the rivers trust ‘Action for the River Kennet’ (ARK). The projects all have a positive benefit for people, rivers and biodiversity and volunteers are central to their creation. The rain gardens frequently include educational elements and natural play.
Wendy’s rainscape designs have recently featured in the Garden Design Journal, the Financial Times and in the GLA SuDS Sector Guidance for Schools, ‘Reimagining Rainwater’.
Our funding partners
Feedback from our workshops
“Great mix of theory and practical”
“The fabulous ideas and explanations”
“Small and large tips that make it seem really possible to implement”
“Inspiring examples and very clear, detailed instructions”
“Learning about water, climate change and what we can do about it”
“Being made to think about where our water goes in the face of climate change and urbanisation”
“Really enjoyed the background information at the beginning – learning about the river, drainage, sewerage systems”
“Helped understand why rain gardens are important and why you are doing it”