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  • Writer's pictureEmily Haysom

Living with water

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

These riverside meadows bound the Great Ouse in Ely. For half the year they are dry(ish) grassland grazed by cattle, then for many months there are shifting pools and bogs, responding to the rainfall and the rise and fall of the river; always changing and full of life.

Grasses, teasels and water mint shift backwards and forwards over time, in a shifting tapestry, layers of colour and texture blurring with the sky.

The boundaries of path and railway line form the rim of this sustainable drainage system, undulations and channels form the ponds and dykes - the holes of the sponge that helps to protect us from floods. If only all sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS), large and small, could emulate spaces like these, full of wildlife and enjoyed by people.

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