The Aquifer Partnership

The Aquifer Partnership

At a glance


  • Environment

Other details

Organisation type: 
Small or unincorporated organisation
Geographical remit: 


From the River Adur in the west, the River Ouse to the east, and up to the edge of the Downs, the land is shaped by a tremendous block of chalk. This chalk holds water like a sponge, it forms the aquifer.

TAP is dedicated to protecting the aquifer, which holds the precious groundwater we need to live. This is the water that makes the journey to your home, ready at the turn of a tap to quench a thirst, cook a meal, wash some clothes or fill a bath. It’s a vital natural resource.

But like so many others, this natural resource is under threat. Pollution is a problem, not just here, but for aquifers, rivers, lakes, and oceans worldwide.

Formed in 2016, we are a partnership focused on the aquifer, our precious natural resource. We’ve drawn from experts across the UK and even the globe to learn about sustainable blue-green solutions for the issues facing our aquifer.

Our relationship with water and how we manage it needs to change. We have to make sure we keep our water clean and use every drop wisely.

We are protecting the precious water held beneath our feet. From towns to downs we all rely on it. Now, next year, in the next decade and in the next century, we’ll always need it. The Aquifer Partnership (TAP) is safeguarding the water we’ll need for years to come.

Water Quality and Quantity

Being dedicated to preserving the aquifer isn’t enough; our goals are to improve the water quality and quantity that sinks into the ground. We do this using evidence-based solutions, which means data and scientific communities back them.

Increasing Biodiversity

Changing an underused space into one that positively impacts the aquifer also means it benefits the nature. We focus on using plants and designs that regenerate a space for nature. We’re passionate about using sustainable nature based solutions, and supporting regenerative farming.

Creating Community

It’s not enough to build sustainable solutions; we need to create and sustain beautiful places for people too. Each of our projects involves the community around it, from educational talks about the aquifer to using community feedback to develop designs that serve them better.


We work with farmers, trialling the best way to grow crops and raise animals with our water in mind. We team up with greenkeepers and horse owners to decide how to keep conditions just right and the impact light.



Schools are joining us to manage water better for the future, bringing students on a journey of discovery along the way.


Trail blazers

We work with our partner organisations to educate and support leaders. Here we work on in implementing sustainable, nature-based solutions into wider community projects, but also on the small scale too with rain garden planters.


The Aquifer Partnership has won funding to improve a small part of Wild Park in Brighton, creating an attractive area for people and wildlife. It will be designed around several shallow planted basins that can hold water during heavy rainfall, and which help to reduce pollution and improve the area for people and nature. This will be the Wild Park Rainscape.

Project Summary

The Wild Park Rainscape will create a beautiful wetland area near the entrance to the park, designed to showcase better ways of managing water in a more natural and sustainable way than traditional drainage, bringing extra benefits for water, people and nature.

The Wild Park Rainscape – how it works

The system is designed to slow and treat polluted road run-off from the A27 junction with Lewes Road. Currently water is held in a balancing pond next to The Keep before being piped to soakaways next to Wild Park, presenting a pollution risk to the aquifer.

This project will improve the function the balancing pond, making it the first stage of a ‘treatment train’ slowing down the system and removing a significant amount of the pollution.

Halfway along The Parkway area by the footpath (to the right hand side of the entrance, facing the park) we will create a new swale, or shallow planted channel to divert water from the pipe and bring it to the surface, to travel towards and cross the park entrance, to a wetland area at the front of Wild Park. This will be made up of two shallow ‘wet’ lined basins, and two unlined basins which will be dry most of the time, apart from during heavy rainfall.

The vegetated swales and basins provide further treatment, so by the time water is allowed to infiltrate into the chalk below it will be clean.

As well as water quality benefits, the rainscape helps to address localised flooding within the park entrance, as well as providing community and biodiversity benefits – and a more visually attractive green space

School Rainscapes

Young people are leading the charge for the environment. Their energy and dedication is raising the bar and showing us the way. Captivating this enthusiasm is good for us all; whether we’re 4 or 94, we can all become ambassadors for our aquifer.

What Are Rainscapes?

Here at TAP, we are pioneering a school rainscape campaign. We work with schools to transform underused play areas into inspirational and interactive blue-green spaces promoting outdoor learning while protecting the precious groundwater beneath our feet.

Rainscapes are also known as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). SuDS are a nature-based solution that promotes water health. These rainscapes provide play and educational opportunities while reducing flooding, cleaning water, and increasing biodiversity.

Rain Garden Training


They are an attractive, inexpensive and DIY friendly way to support the aquifer and create a welcoming space for wildlife.

A rain garden collects rainwater, slowing it down and allowing it to soak into the ground to replenish the aquifer beneath our feet. It mimics the natural way water moves through the environment, and can help compensate for the impacts of development.

There are two main types of rain garden: rain planters and rain gardens in the ground. Both are designed to collect water draining from roofs and other hard surfaces

  • A rain planter can be either a filtration rain planter, which is sealed; or an infiltration rain planter, which is left with no base so some water soaks into the ground.
  • A filtration rain planter can be positioned next to a building. These have extra drainage/overflow, so you control where the excess rainwater goes. This can be directed back down the original drain or even better, if garden space allows, to a rain garden in the ground.

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