Pupils get creative to learn about Severn Trent’s ‘Super SuDS’ in Mansfield 

Friday 26 May 2023

Pupils in Mansfield enjoyed getting creative to learn about the water cycle and a £76 million project that will protect their town from flooding. 

Through fun and interactive sessions, the Trent Rivers Trust, in partnership with Severn Trent’s education team, have been teaching pupils at Oak Tree Primary School about climate change, what happens to the network when it is overwhelmed by too much rain, and the major £76 million project they are undertaking to make the town more flood resilient.

Children found out how Severn Trent is installing sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) across Mansfield, even getting the chance to create their own mini-SuDS in plastic bottles whilst learning about how they soak up and slow down surface water. 

The town is set to be transformed over the next two years, becoming more resilient against the increasing threat of flooding from climate change, population growth and urban development. 

Marie Gash, Headteacher at Oak Tree Primary School, said: “The workshop was very visual and the children loved the practical element - they got a lot from it, learning things that they never knew before.

“We’re always looking at ways to enrich our curriculum and provide engaging experiences for our pupils – we’re an eco-school with our own eco school council and environment club so the Super SuDS sessions fed perfectly into what we talk to our pupils about. I’d encourage other schools in Mansfield to get in touch with Severn Trent for a visit.”

The visits come soon after the company reached a major milestone for the project, completing its first rain garden in the town centre. This rain garden is the first of thousands of SuDS to be installed across the town to reduce the risk of flooding for up to 90,000 local people, help stop sewers becoming overwhelmed during heavy rainfall, and reduce storm overflow discharges.

Severn Trent’s first raingarden was completed by its working partners, Galliford Try who will be continuing to work with Severn Trent on the project as it moves across the town. When the project is complete in 2025, the new drainage systems will be able to hold over 50 million litres of surface water, which is roughly around 20 Olympic swimming pools.

Helen Purdy, Community Communications Officer for Severn Trent, said: “There’s nothing like learning hands-on - after an informative assembly, the children got the opportunity to make their very own mini-SuDS, using plastic bottles and some of the material from our building team. They created SuDS in a bottle, getting to see first-hand how they help to slow down and filter rainwater.

“We’d love to bring the Super SuDS assembly and workshop to more schools across Mansfield, to spread the word about this project and the wonderful benefits to the community.”

For more information on the work happening in Mansfield, please visit www.stwater.co.uk/Mansfield.

Schools interested in Super Suds sessions can register their interest by sending an email to: mansfieldsuds@severntrent.co.uk.