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Abertay partners on innovative greener gardens

18 November 2016

Greener Gardens large

Abertay’s Urban Water Technology Centre has partnered with the Scottish Government, Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, Central Scotland Green Network Trust and C&D Associates on the Greener Gardens project, looking at how gardens of new homes can be used to contribute to green infrastructure, biodiversity and storm water management.

Using shared resources and expertise, The Torrance Park Water Project will look at storm water management and the green infrastructure that can help with managing water and a changing climate.

Abertay University and Taylor Wimpey West Scotland have also teamed up to offer a learning package aimed at Primary 3 children to highlight raingardens, sustainable drainage and the environment.

Pupils from Holytown Primary School in North Lanarkshire will be the first to benefit with a series of classroom talks and discussions, interactive activities and local show and tell walk-abouts in the local community to learn more about the concept of Greener Gardens.

Dr Rebecca Wade from the Urban Water Technology Centre at Abertay University said, ‘Collaboration between education and industry can really make a difference. This demonstration site and partnership have grown out of collaborative work on a stormwater management MSc project developed by Dr Brian D’Arcy (C&D Associates) together with myself at Abertay University.

‘It involved testing a new product (‘SUDSbox’) designed by C&D Associates. Our MSc Student (James Travers) worked with Taylor Wimpey West Scotland who agreed to install this innovative technology at one of their sites, and to enable us to monitor how well it works.

‘The project developed into an award-winning partnership. By working together, we can help deliver better environments which work harder for us – providing communities with attractive areas to live and play, supporting nature, and tackling flooding and climate change issues too.’

Taylor Wimpey has now installed two types of raingarden and a ‘SUDSbox’ (Sustainable Urban Drainage System) at its Torrance Park development of new homes in Holytown, North Lanarkshire.

As part of the Torrance Park Water Project, Taylor Wimpey West Scotland is also funding two years of research of the installation by project partners Abertay University to further investigate how source control SUDS in new housing developments can contribute to storm water management and reduce downstream flooding.

Raising the awareness of this innovative project has overall benefits for a wide audience as Stephen Andrew, Technical Director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland explains, ‘Along with our project partners we are leading the way both in research and analysis of raingardens at plot level.

‘We believe the inclusion of raingardens within house plots can contribute positively to help the industry deal with storm water management in a sustainable way as a source control SUDS technique.’

The project team has also collaborated to create a ‘Developer’s Guide’ that aims to introduce the concept of greener gardens to the wider housebuilding industry, and provide guidance on how small changes can make a huge impact on the wider green infrastructure, bio-diversity and storm water management and how their future developments can embrace this thinking.

A copy of this guide is available at

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