Flood Re Unveils the Flood Resilient Garden

Flood Re Unveils the Flood Resilient Garden: Today at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Flood Re, in collaboration with Dr. Ed Barsley and Naomi Slade, unveils the pioneering Flood Resilient Garden. 

Today, 1 in 4 homes in the UK are at risk of flooding – not just by the coast and rivers, but in urban areas too. Flooding doesn’t just damage homes and gardens; it devastates lives, causing lasting financial and emotional strain. In total, 5.4 million (1 in 8) UK adults with gardens have experienced the devastating impact of flooding on their green spaces.

Flood Re Unveils the Flood Resilient Garden

Flood Re Unveils the Flood Resilient Garden

From Roots to Resilience

The Flood Resilient Garden is designed to inspire and educate homeowners about the critical role their garden can play in flood defence. Incorporating sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), native flood-tolerant plant species, and innovative water management techniques, the garden is a model for future landscaping under the threat of increasing extreme weather events due to climate change.

In a groundbreaking display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Flood Resilient Garden will intentionally flood to demonstrate its unique capabilities. This never-seen-before feature will illustrate how the garden adapts to changing water levels. Visitors will witness firsthand how the central swale becomes a lively stream, channelling rainwater into a feature pond where it can gradually soak away, while large water tanks double as ornamental ponds which store water for later use.

Leading weather & climate change expert Laura Tobin Joins the Cause

Adding to the excitement, leading weather & climate change expert Laura Tobin will be on hand to discuss the garden’s role in mitigating flood risks.

Laura Tobin Said:  “The Flood Resilient Garden shows that adapting to climate change can still be beautiful and homeowners don’t have to give up having a lovely garden to make it work hard against extreme weather. It’s about blending smart, sustainable choices with thoughtful design to protect our homes and communities”.

A Nation at Risk

The unveiling also shines a light on the latest insights from Flood Re, revealing a concerning lack of flood awareness amongst UK citizens.

Flood Re’s research shows that only 5% of people living in areas at high-risk of flooding could correctly identify their flood risk. Concerningly, 68% of people in high-risk flood areas incorrectly think their flood risk is low.

The research shows that despite Brits spending an average of £402 on their gardens over the past year, they are not taking the crucial steps they need to protect their homes and gardens from flooding.

Indeed, 90% of homeowners, rising to 93% in high and mid flood risk areas, haven’t taken any steps to make their homes and gardens more flood resilient. Despite the extreme weather conditions, this doesn’t look to be changing, with only 9% of homeowners planning to add flood resilience measures to their homes and gardens in the next year

Build Back Better

In the event of a flood, Flood Re’s Build Back Better scheme allows eligible customers with specific home insurers to receive up to £10,000 as part of a claim.

The amount is meant for home and garden improvements that go beyond basic repairs, focusing on enhancing the property’s resilience against future floods

The Flood Resilient Garden is not just a temporary exhibit. After the show, it will find a permanent home at Howbery Business Park, allowing the public to explore its features and learn about flood resilience year-round.

Flood Re is on hand to help you invest wisely in your garden to make it beautiful and resilient. Check out all the best tips and tricks to make your garden both beautiful and resilient here.

Flood Re CEO Andy Bord, said: “Gardens bring joy to so many of us but they also provide an important first line of defence to flooding. With this garden we’re hoping to inspire more people to think about their flood risk and get smart with their spending by considering the plants and garden features that will both endure a flood and could also help reduce the physical destruction and psychological distress when a flood strikes. If flood resilient features and water storage capacity were to become a feature of most gardens in a neighbourhood, the positive combined effect would be enormous!”

Naomi Slade, Garden Designer, said: “People spend a huge amount of time and money on their gardens and floods can wreak havoc and cause a huge amount of disruption, heartache and expense. The principles showcased within our Flood Resilient Garden are impactful, practical and transferable, but crucially we’ve shown that making a garden more climate and flood-resilient does not have to be a compromise on either its form or function.”

Ed Barsley, The Environmental Design Studio, said: “With the increase in extreme weather events, heavy rainfall and flooding as well as drought, and even wildfires, many people are anxious. As individuals they can feel powerless to make a difference. But gardens are hugely powerful tools and the Flood Re: The Flood Resilient Garden sends a positive message of agency and hope, and it is packed with practical, achievable ideas and solutions to enable people, as we adapt to the climate crisis.”

For more information, interviews, or a guided tour of the Flood Resilient Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, please contact:

Headland Consultancy: Beth Kelly – bkelly@headlandconsultancy.com

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