Land Studio is working with three schools in Wales to help them combat climate change.
The landscape architecture and civil engineering practice is helping schools to combat flooding while also “educating children about the value of nature-led design and biodiversity”.
The Chester-based studio said it has designed a sustainable drainage system for Ysgol Cedewain SEN School, a new £22 million school currently being built in Powys, Wales. Rain gardens wrap around the play areas, catching surface water and leading it to designated planting beds.
These will be filled with wildflowers and ornamental grasses, which adapt to drought or wet conditions and help prevent playgrounds from flooding or becoming muddy when it rains. The car park is also said to have permeable paving.
At another school, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llyn-y-Forwyn school in Ferndale, Rhondda, Land Studio has designed a planting strategy inspired by the RCT Action for Nature Plan, which “champions local biodiversity and reinforces the existing landscape character of the valley”.
Rain gardens, new pond features, new grassland and meadow habitats with bug towers have also been specified to help with water management across the site.
Finally, at a new Welsh medium primary in Flint, the school’s naturally sloping site has led to Land Studio designing a series of sensitive drainage features to facilitate sustainable drainage.
“New boundary treatments within, and to the full perimeter of the site in Oakenholt, include new wildflower and tree planting as well as a rain garden. A recommendation has been made this week to grant planning permission subject to conditions,” read a company statement.
Simon Richards, founder of Land Studio, said: “We’re working with a growing number of schools across Wales. Our work helps them to combat climate change and reduce flooding while also boosting well-being by bringing school children closer to nature and using habitat creation as an educational tool.
“We like to incorporate swales into our scheme because their shallow channels help to capture and manage the runoff of water while also removing pollutants. These rain gardens can wrap around schools and collect surface water while also containing structural meadow planting.
“Our landscape designs give schools an opportunity to create different spaces in the landscape for learning, play and reflection including outdoor classrooms and seating areas.”