Learn more about what TFAG is doing - and has already done – to help reduce the risk of flooding in our Conservation Area as well as adding some interest to the street scene
Drain Clearing and CCTV Survey
There have been several discussions at our Multi Agency Meetings concerning the condition and capacity of the drains and gullies in the Conservation Area. Direct observation during periods of heavy rain suggested that the flow through the network was restricted by either partial blockages, limited capacity, or indeed both.
Following consultation with West Sussex Highways Dept and Southern Water, and with support and funding from Operation Watershed, TFAG contracted local company 1st Clearflow to carry out a High-Pressure Jetting and CCTV investigation of the surface water drainage network in various roads. This was to identify any unknown issues, and to ascertain if the flooding is related to a capacity issue or specific blockages.
Although a significant amount of silt was removed, CCTV did not identify any serious blockages, and showed that the drainage system was in good condition for its age. This indicated that capacity during periods of more extreme rainfall was indeed a contributing factor and that we needed to look for ways to implement SuDS alternatives to reduce the volume of water going into the drainage system at peak times.
Tarring SuDS Feasibility Study
In 2018, with support and funding from Operation Watershed, TFAG commissioned local landscape consultants Project Centre to carry out a study to assess the feasibility of implementing retrofitted Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) that would work with and supplement the existing drainage to increase capacity for dealing with surface water during periods of heavy rainfall.
With the information gathered from a topographical study and other evidence, a range of SuDS options were identified at six sites within and around the Conservation Area. The possible options included the installation of raingardens and permeable paving, as well as swales, ponds, tree pits and rainwater harvesting systems.
The study report has formed the basis of TFAG’s plans to deliver a flood resilient Conservation Area over time. It is a very comprehensive document! Subject to funding being available, we will be busy over the next few years. If you are interested in the study report, contact TFAG by email and we will send you a digital copy.
Rectory Road Raingardens
The Tarring SuDS Feasibility Study (see project information above) identified the creation of a series of Raingardens in Rectory Road as the most cost-effective SuDS solution to reducing flood risk.
Raingardens, or less glamorously, bioretention facilities, are blends of natural beauty and function.They are designed to divert, capture, hold, and slowly release pooling surface water, delaying the tipping-point at which our Victorian-era drainage system is overwhelmed. And they look good too!
Construction of the gardens was completed by local company Skinner Landscapes in December 2020. In addition to granting funding for the project, WSCC’s Operation Watershed team were very supportive during the whole process. Our heartfelt thanks go to them.
A small team of volunteers is already helping keep the gardens in fine trim, but more offers of help will be warmly received. Take a quick peek at our ‘Getting Involved’ page.
Fairoak Triangle Raised Beds
The installation of three oak timber raised planters in 2020, as well as some oak ‘chat’ benches on and near the Triangle and close to the raingardens is a welcome environmentally sensitive addition to the street scene, providing an even more attractive environment for all to share and enjoy.
Our grateful thanks to the headmaster and staff of Thomas a’Becket Junior School, who were very supportive during the disruption resulting from construction work of the Rectory Road Raingardens. Some of the school’s pupils were involved in choosing suitable plants for one of the raised beds and helping plant and look after them. Their curiosity and sense of fun at this different kind of practical learning experience is a delight to witness.
The cost of materials for the beds and benches was donated by City Fibre and Worthing Community Chest, the installation was carried out free of charge by Skinner Landscapes. Thank you all! Plants have been generously donated by Ferring Nurseries, and we are fortunate to have received plant and cash donations from residents, who are also involved in planting and maintenance duties!
Proposed Future Projects
Whilst the Covid 19 pandemic has caused a hiatus in our pursuit of new projects, we are currently considering where best to direct our efforts to make Tarring even more flood resilient. We still have a number of promising options from the Tarring SuDS Feasibility Report, but your ideas are always welcome. Please feel free to share any ideas with us.