The Fonthill Park sustainable drainage scheme (SuDS) in Southmead, Bristol, UK, is alleviating flood risk in one of the high risk areas identified in Bristol City Council’s surface water management plan, as well as improving the ecological and aesthetic value of the park.


Following identification of the area as high risk, a flood event in November 2012 confirmed the situation, causing disruption to road networks in the city. The key reason for this was surface water runoff from adjacent Greenfield land exceeding drainage system capacity, causing flooding.


We undertook hydrological analysis of the area and developed a series of SuDS ponds, taking into account the park’s natural topography, to attenuate runoff and allow infiltration into ground. Completed in November 2016, the SuDS ponds have been seeded with a wildflower mix to improve biodiversity and the aesthetics of the park.


Less than a week after completion the scheme was brought into action to mitigate the adverse effects of excess surface water runoff associated with Storm Angus.