Large Brambles And Tall Vegetation Growing At SuDS Basin Near Houses In East Huntspill

Want to get the best from your local SuDs? New guide shows how

Basic facts about SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) are explained in a new guide that will help local people to improve the places where they live.

SuDS are designed to manage rainwater in housing or industrial developments in ways that copy natural processes.

When SuDS are done well and work well, their benefits include:

  • reduced flooding
  • greener spaces
  • cleaner air and water
  • more varied and healthier wildlife

When things go wrong the results can be flooding, pollution or damage to the environment.

So it is worth knowing more about how things can go wrong and who to ask for the right kinds of help.

The photo at the top of this page shows a heavily-vegetated SuDS basin at East Huntspill in Somerset.

Simple SuDs for Local People

Simple SuDS for Local People is a new guide that shows:

  • what SuDS are
  • what they look like
  • who is responsible for them
  • what residents and communities can do if something is wrong

Simple SuDS then looks at:

  • individual SuDS features
  • how they need to be maintained
  • what might go wrong

Download a copy of Simple SuDS for Local People


The guide’s authors are Teresa Bridgeman and Phiala Mehring.

Teresa Bridgeman is Chair of West Somerset Flood Group, Vice Chair of West Somerset Flood Board and Convenor of the West Somerset NFM (Natural Flood Management) People and Partnerships Group. Her involvement with Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) currently includes playing a leading role in a new initiative helping villagers to run very localised early flood warning systems. Simple SuDS draws on a major SRA review of SuDS across Somerset.

Phiala Mehring is a National Flood Forum trustee and an independent member of the Thames Regional Flood & Coastal Committee.

Download a copy of Simple SuDS for Local People

Guide’s purpose

Teresa and Phiala say: “We want the guide to help more residents and communities to engage with SuDS and have the confidence to be involved in their upkeep.

“Ultimately, we hope this guide will help communities come to understand the benefits of SuDS rather than being rudely awoken to their existence when something goes wrong or damaging them because they simply don’t recognise what they are.”

SuDS are becoming much more common. Simple SuDS for Local People therefore aims to give non-experts the information they need to monitor the installation and maintenance of SuDS in local developments.

The authors add: “Because this is a local people’s guide, for it to be successful, we need your help. Please circulate this widely via social media, in the day to day contacts you have with communities and local authorities and by posting this document on your flood-related or environmental website.

“SuDS are community-related assets, let’s ensure that communities have a fighting chance of understanding them!”

Authors’ contact details

As Simple SuDS is meant to be a ‘living and breathing’ document that will develop over time, residents, flood and community groups are invited to contribute their knowledge – and photos – to the guide.

Teresa Bridgeman:

Twitter: @BridgemanTai

Phiala Mehring:

Twitter: @PhialaM or via LinkedIn

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