Street tree pits investigated for water retention and filtration

Trees in Greater Manchester are being assessed for their contribution to natural flood management via a new design of tree pit.

Image: City of Trees
Image: City of Trees

The 20 "high-impact" trees, including cherry, field maple and sweetgum, have been planted along Prestwich High Street as part of a £2 million regeneration programme led by Bury Metropolitan Borough Council in partnership with charity City of Trees.

The specially designed pits store rainwater running off the road, pavement and the surrounding buildings, and used to irrigate the trees while the excess drains into the sewer system.

The University of Manchester will monitor the tree pits to see the effect they have on the volume and speed of water entering the sewers, and will also examine the levels of pollution in the water both as it enters the tree pits and when it has been filtered through the pits and returned to the sewer.

Cllr Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, said: "The reaction in Prestwich to the Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme involving the street trees has been really positive. People love the idea of using rainwater to water the trees and to improve the environment in general.

"We are already exploring the potential for other natural flood management projects in Bury."

Prt of the EU-funded Natural Course programme for the North-West, the project has also involved the Environment Agency, United Utilities and MUSE Developments.

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