SuDS for Schools Project

Category: Regions

Last updated: September 14th, 2022

SuDS for Schools

Have you ever wondered...

Where is all the rainwater flowing over hard surfaces such as school’s roofs and roads going?

Is there anything we can do with it?

An interesting project began in October 2011 in order to improve the health of streams and rivers for the benefit of wildlife and local communities in the Pymmes Brook catchment which covers parts of Enfield, Barnet and Harringey council areas in North London.

This is a collaborative project managed by WWT (NGO) with funding from the Environment Agency (Government Regulator) and Thames Water (Industry). Ten schools were selected to participate in the project.

SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) aim to mimic water’s natural drainage patterns and wetland function as they were before development, by absorbing, filtering and slowing the flow of water when it rains. SuDS consist of a “management train” which is a series of stages that starts when rain hits a hard surface. They have different sizes and shapes and they need to adapt to the topography and conditions of the place they are in.

Examples of SuDS include rain gardens, swales, interconnected ponds, reedbeds and green roofs.

SuDS are a cost effective way of delivering sustainable, resilient communities in urban areas. When well designed and managed, they can bring a range of benefits for the community; education, recreation, areas for children to play, improved health, biodiversity, climate regulation and regeneration.

Please click on the links below to read about the SuDS project in the following schools:

Hollickwood Primary School

Holly Park Primary School

Susi Earnshaw Theatre School

Queen Elizabeth Girls School

It is interesting to see how these simple but well thought-out systems can provide for diverse benefits, such as reducing floods, improving biodiversity, improving the water quality going into the drains, and ultimately providing the community with a learning environment they did not have before and green spaces they can enjoy and relax by

The examples mentioned here demonstrate how treatment stages have to consider the size of the place as well as the characteristics of the catchment area, in order to use the existing space in the best possible way.

For more information, see the project page on the WWT website.