A Yorkshire-based SME has won a national award against strong competition. Elizabeth Blackledge, Bill Blackledge, and Amanda McDermott, of 2B Landscape Consultancy Ltd, were named as CIRIA Susdrain’s Outstanding Team of SuDS Champions in the Susdrain SuDS Awards 2022. The award recognises their work advocating Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), through their roles as Chartered Landscape Architects at 2B, and in a voluntary capacity with Slow The Flow and West Wolds Slow the Flow.
Increased risk of flooding is one of the major challenges for Yorkshire in the face of Climate Change. In our county, there is a growing need to reduce flood impacts and to combat Combined Sewer Overflow and heat wave issues that have made the headlines recently. To do this, we must make better use of nature as our inspiration, and include Natural Flood Management (NFM) in the countryside. In towns and villages, Sustainable Drainage (SuDS), can be used, including green roofs, rain gardens, swales, and permeable paving. These not only reduce the chances of flooding, but also help us adapt to hotter summers by providing greenery and shade.
The winning team hope that their award will help to raise the profile of nature-based solutions in Yorkshire, and encourage many more schemes to involve Landscape Architects at an early stage. This will enhance flood protection, water quality, biodiversity and amenity, as well as saving costs when compared to traditional drainage.
Bill Blackledge, Director at 2B Landscape Consultancy Ltd, said:
“Many thanks to everyone who voted for us, it is really encouraging to have the hard work and dedication of our small team at 2B, and the two Slow The Flow projects, recognised.
We believe good Sustainable Drainage design can enhance any project or area. We will continue to promote that message locally and nationally.“
Dr Jacqueline Diaz-Nieto, Senior Design Engineer, Severn Trent Water and one of 2B’s nominators for the award, said:
“Elizabeth, Bill and Amanda completely embody all the criteria of SuDS champions. In addition to their day jobs, they have used their professional SuDS expertise in voluntary and community projects, founding Slow The Flow (Calderdale) and West Wolds Slow the Flow.
The team have inspired grass-roots level involvement in SuDS and creating demand for SuDS delivery that addresses community drainage issues.
Their work recently attracted the interest of Ofwat, who invited them to advise on the issues faced, the challenges in reaching and educating people and what is needed from regulators/government/businesses. Slow The Flow achievements have been recognised at national and local levels, through media coverage including Countryfile, and awards including the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. “