SuDS Success in Eastbourne!

Published on 06 December 2023

Nick Couzens our Education Consultant has been incredibly busy in recent months working on an exciting project! We spoke with him recently to find out what he has been up to and some of the highlights from his time working in Eastbourne.

  • SuDS in Schools
  • Eastbourne

About Nick

Nick has over 21 years of teaching experience and is incredibly passionate about the outdoors - making him the perfect man for the job for this recent project. Nick’s teaching career saw him take part as Ten Tors and Duke of Edinburgh Award Manager, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead at Exeter college and took on a Beaver Scout Leader role. During his time as a teacher he enjoyed incorporating the outdoors into his teaching wherever possible and getting young people engaged with the outdoors.

We asked Nick to tell us a little bit about the work he has been doing in Eastbourne and here is what he had to say:

After over twenty one years teaching I finally get to focus purely on the fun bits.

Head shot of Nick Couzens
Paddling pool with coloured bricks floating in it

Our Rainwater have signed me up to work with the Blue Heart Project to deliver a pilot programme to seven schools around the Eastbourne area, creating and delivering exciting and engaging content for children at both primary and secondary schools around flood prevention and STEM topics. The schools will all be retrofitted with sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) or ‘leaky water butts’ that slow the flow of water and capture storm water that would otherwise overwhelm drainage systems. I’m not an engineer and had to explore the topic thoroughly to come up with a meaningful and worthwhile range of activities that could work with a wide range of learners.

We’ve visited and worked with five schools in the area. Children are introduced to the themes, take part in some icebreaker activities that explore water, chemistry, engineering and team work, capturing their imagination and engaging them from the very start. The Wondrous Water, carousel of activities enables children to explore natural flood management techniques, the role water has in our lives and various ways we can use it. They do all of this through self-led play and investigation. Once the issues and solutions have been investigated the project allows the children to design the SuD Systems that will be fitted to all the drainpipes of their school, stopping thousands of litres of water flooding the drainage systems after heavy rain. The children have been incredible at this aspect of the project, coming up with ideas and solutions for their individual schools that have never been considered before- although it may not be feasible to create systems that only spray teachers!

"Best. Day. Ever!"

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive both from pupils and staff, “Best. Day. Ever!” a group of year five children said to me earlier today.

Inspiring the next generation to think about and solve real-world problems that will inevitably affect them has been an incredibly rewarding part of this project. The children come away from the sessions even more interested in science and technology, and more experienced at finding engineering solutions to problems. The children have been brilliant, the problems of the future will be in very safe hands.

The Eastbourne Academy

"It was brilliant working with Nick and the students on the project. Nick really engaged with the variety of students using differing techniques to support them and get the best from each one. The student took part willingly in all activities and really had fun with the practical elements. Students in the second group enjoyed finding out facts about the local area and how the landscape has changed. 

Nick worked with students one to one when it was needed, this was predominantly when the students were designing water butts. Helping students to foster their ideas and get them on paper."

Previous article

A Community Project Over 3 Years in the Making: Denton Community Garden

Next article

What is Rainwater Management?

Connect with us

Innovation Centre
University of Exeter
Devon, EX4 4RN

Our Rainwater © 2024