Project background

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Thames Water to protect streams and rivers from pollution.

As rainwater in your local area flows over hard surfaces such as roofs and roads, it collects pollution, dirt and debris.  This water can flow 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, to keep water bodies healthy for the benefit of wildlife and local communities.

Project aims

To build Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in school grounds within the Pymmes Brook Catchment.

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.  Examples of SuDS include interconnected ponds, reedbeds and living green walls and roofs.

This project will show how SuDS can improve river health and demonstrate how SuDS can be integrated in to school grounds.  In so doing this project will provide schools with related learning opportunities and enable children to play an active role in the stewardship of their local environment.

The SuDS for Schools Curriculum, available by theme or by subject, illustrates the cross curricular learning opportunities within this project.

Project details

Ten schools within the Pymmes Brook catchment have been selected to work with WWT to design and build SuDS in their school grounds. 

Benefits to schools

This project will help schools to:

  • Naturalise and ‘green’ outdoor spaces
  • Improve the health of local rivers  
  • Provide habitats for wildlife and increase school biodiversity levels
  • Save water
  • Reduce flooding
  • Develop whole school understanding related to environmental conservation and sustainability 
  • Learn outdoors
  • Become a hub for interested parties including businesses and other schools

Benefits to local communities

This project will help communities to:

  • Improve the health of local rivers
  • Reduce local flooding
  • Increase local biodiversity levels
  • Develop community understanding related to environmental conservation and sustainability 
  • Forge closer links between community members and local schools
  • Become a hub for interested parties including other councils, organisations and community groups
  • Increase community profile through local and regional media

For more information


WWT Consulting logoWWT Consulting is working with the project team to undertake the ground surveys, develop concept designs and provide detailed designs of a range of SuDS such as rain gardens, swales, ponds and wetlands.