SuDS for Schools

Organisation: Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Environment Agency & Thames Water
Location: National
Type: Case Study

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Thames Water to protect streams and rivers from pollution, and to ease the strain on existing drainage systems
As rainwater flows over hard surfaces such as roofs and roads, it collects pollution, dirt and debris.  This water currently flows into underground pipes and can go directly in to your local stream or river, damaging the health of that water body. WWT wants to improve the quality of surface water entering streams and rivers and keep them healthy for the benefit of wildlife and local communities.
The SuDS for Schools Project aims to build Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in ten schools within the Pymmes Brook Catchment in North London. SuDS mimic natural processes by catching and slowing the flow of rain water to streams and rivers, and filtering it to remove pollution along the way. SuDS also aim to keep water on the surface rather than being directed into underground pipes. Examples of SuDS include rain gardens, swales, detention basins, some types of ponds, reedbeds and green roofs.
This project helps schools and their local communities to:

  • Naturalise and ‘green’ outdoor spaces
  • Improve the health of local rivers
  • Provide habitats for wildlife and increase school biodiversity levels
  • Save water
  • Reduce local flooding
  • Develop whole school understanding related to environmental conservation and sustainability
  • Learn outdoors
  • Forge closer links with the local community and become a hub for interested parties including businesses and other schools
  • Increase school profile through local and regional media
  • Develop community understanding related to environmental conservation and sustainability


The Catchment-Based Approach website is designed to showcase the work of catchment partnerships aross England and Wales and to encourage the sharing and adoption of best practice in stakeholder-led catchment managment planning, delivery and evaluation.


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