With summer on the way, Charlene Duncan, our Education and Community Outreach Officer, writes how now is the perfect time to book sessions with Project Kingfisher, the South East Rivers Trust’s river education programme.
The South East Rivers Trust has been working with Sutton Council to deliver a SuDS in Schools project in Carshalton. Delivering a sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) project has been a new and valuable experience for the Trust.
Timing could not have been better for this SuDS project. Along with all the extreme weather events around the world that have been in the news, closer to home flash flooding has hit the headlines. Not only does this demonstrate the urgent need to address surface water flooding, but it has brought the issue to the public’s attention. It is the perfect chance to capitalise on the growing awareness of climate change and interest in environmental issues to get SuDS on the public agenda.
For more information on SuDS, click here.
While works are being planned to restore the Emm Brook in Riverside Park, Wokingham, the South East Rivers Trust has begun engaging the community through an interschool competition.
Primary schools in the area were all invited to take part in the School River Challenge. Schools competed to get the most pupils to become certified Junior River Rangers. The prize? A class set of river dipping equipment.
The competition was run over the June half term. It was launched in each school with an assembly – delivered virtually over Zoom – in the week beginning 17th May. Many teachers took the week before half term to undertake some of the Junior River Ranger activities as a class. Children were then encouraged to complete the remaining activities with family and friends. In the course of the competition, we received more than 300 hits on our Junior River Ranger webpage!
When Covid-19 affected our plans for the SuDS in Sutton’s Schools project, the South East Rivers Trust shifted its focus from Education and Engagement to Design and Delivery – increasing the expertise we are able to give on future sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) projects.
The primary objective of any SuDS scheme is to alleviate flood risk – capturing and storing rainwater, reducing pressure on the drainage system.
We worked with schools to deliver clear benefits, whether it be for wildlife, as calm spaces or to enhance the work of particular lessons.
The SuDS in Sutton’s Schools project was managed by the London Borough of Sutton council and our role has been to deliver education and engagement to help schools meet flood relief targets. The primary aim has been to alleviate flood risk in the Hackbridge area – known as Critical Drainage Area 33.
The SuDS in Sutton’s Schools project was delivered in schools in two phases – using the summer holidays to deliver the bulk of the work. The first phase was completed in 2019 and, because of delays caused by Covid-19, the second phase was completed in 2021.