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Enfield’s green features recognised in prestigious environmental award

The London Strategic Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) Pilot, which involved high-level expertise from Enfield Council’s Watercourses Team, won the Surface Water Management category at last week’s virtual awards ceremony.This award category looks at places that are pioneering innovative ways to tackle surface water flooding, including the implementation of SuDS. The London Pilot demonstrated over a four-year period the multiple benefits of small, strategically distributed SuDS. Examples of these can be seen in rain gardens within Haselbury Ward, Four Hills Estate in The Chase and Enfield Town Wards and many more across Enfield. The key findings can be used to inform how these features could be implemented across the country.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “This is fantastic recognition of the hard work of Enfield Council and its partners to protect people’s homes and tackle the impact of climate change in the urban environment. The award confirms that this approach is supported by the Environment Agency and the wider flood risk management community on a national level. In line with our recently adopted Blue and Green Strategy, we will seek to extend these SuDS features across the borough to help tackle flooding, climate change and many other environmental issues.”

SuDS are becoming increasingly important in Greater London where more than 230,000 properties have been identified as being of high or medium risk to flooding from surface water, with the risks increasing in coming years due to climate change. The lack of space in London makes schemes like this difficult to implement and funding difficult to attract.

The winning project was particularly commended for its range and scale, the increased understanding of how SuDS solutions can tackle urban problems, and the strong partnership approach.

On presenting the award, the Environment Agency said: “Across Greater London, there are a significant number of properties at risk from surface water flooding…and that risk is only going to increase with the impacts of climate change. The panelists were really impressed by this programme of works as it involves testing and developing a wide range of SuDS techniques across the whole of Greater London in a number of different contexts. It’s looked at small ponds, rainwater harvesting, permeable paving, and it is vastly increasing our understanding of how to take forwards SuDS in particularly heavily urbanised areas.”

The partners of the London Strategic SuDS Pilot Study consisted of the London Boroughs of Enfield, Hillingdon and Camden, the London Drainage Engineers Group, Greater London Authority, Thames Water, Transport for London, Environment Agency, Thames Flood Advisors and Arcadis. The Flood & Coast Excellence Awards are available to watch in full on YouTube. [[https://youtu.be/AbPhlB_VOi0]] 

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