Depave UKDepave UK

Free your soil! Take part in a ground breaking movement bringing green spaces back to the urban jungle!

Depave is an international initiative encouraging communities to reconnect with nature by removing paving from their front gardens, driveways and neighbourhood squares.

Watch this short video from students at Harper Adams University to learn more.



What's the problem?

Hard surfaces, such as driveways, carparks and buildings get in the way of the natural water cycle by stopping rain water from soaking into the ground. This can increase problems such as flooding and the pollution of our rivers and streams. These hard surfaces also reduce the space available for plants and animals to live in. By removing pavement and replacing it with trees, bushes or grass we are increasing the time it takes for water to reach the drains and waterways, recharging our groundwater supply, and creating places for our local wildlife to live.

Pollution of our water

Stormwater is the rain or snow that falls on cities and towns and eventually flows into our drains and waterways. Along the way it picks up a variety of toxic chemicals, rubbish and any thing else that gets in its way. Think about everything you find on the pavement: oil and grease, dog mess, litter, salt in winter. These things are transported by the water that flows through our drains, or back into our rivers and lakes.

Too much water!

Pavement is an impermeable surface which means that water isn’t able to pass through it easily. Rain falling onto roads, pavements and the tops of buildings has to go somewhere and it usually ends up in our drains or waterways. When there is a lot of rain our drains and waterways can’t cope with how fast the water is transported to them across the impermeable surfaces which leads to flooding.


Impermeable surfaces stop the water from getting into the ground

Slow the flow

When we remove the hard impermeable surfaces and replace them with something that lets the water flow through it we can slow the flow of the water into our drains and waterways. Not only does this help with the problems of flooding but the permeable surface can act as a sponge, holding the water for a while and trapping some of the dirt. We need clean water to drink and our wildlife and plants need it to live in.


Permeable surfaces let the water through to the ground




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